Material Handling Automation: Investment Opportunities for 2022 and Beyond

Apr 2022

Catalyzed by substantial e-commerce growth and more and larger fulfillment and distribution centers being built around the globe, 2021 brought increased investor interest in the material handling automation sector. A number of tailwinds promise to make the material handling automation space a hot spot for investment in 2022 and beyond.

Accelerating retail competition emerging from the pandemic is driving demand for faster shipping times as businesses aim to retain customers by making changes in COVID-19 driven buyer behavior permanent. At the same time, retailers are looking to combat labor shortages and mitigate workplace injuries in their fulfillment and distribution operations. Material handling automation capabilities offer a path to using technology to do more with fewer workers and allowing movement of a greater volume and breadth of items faster. With the volume of orders (and returns) requiring processing and fulfillment operations to accelerate rapidly, implementing warehouse automation will be essential for players to keep up with and compete with industry-leading players like Amazon. Automated and robotic solutions are becoming a top priority in the year ahead as companies increasingly prioritize throughput and scalability. Adoption of automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) in particular is one of the fastest growing areas and projects strong long-term growth.

E-commerce sales are also boosting in Europe, where demand per capita was historically lower than in the U.S. As sales rise across European countries, cross-border investment opportunities will abound in 2022.

Throughout 2021 and already in 2022, Lincoln has advised on a multitude of deals in the material handling automation space. Explore our experience and credentials:

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