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Market Report: AGV & AMR Robotics 2023

The report provides an overview of the post-pandemic market dynamics for AGV (Automated Guided Vehicles) and AMR (Autonomous Mobile Robots) used in various industries, highlighting the slowing growth post-pandemic, with a strong market in the U.S. and intense competition in China. The market saw a positive trend in 2023, driven by the automotive sector’s shift to electric vehicles, food and beverage, and the U.S. market, while growth in Europe dissipated. The Chinese market became hyper-competitive with historically low prices, and many vendors planned to expand into the U.S. and EU in 2024. Supply chain issues improved post-COVID, but there were inhibitors to faster growth, including a lack of customer awareness, a fragmented vendor landscape, and the need for customization in projects. Software innovation, particularly in AGV and AMR fleet management, has become increasingly important, with trends toward 3D visualization and VSLAM for real-time location systems. The 2024 market outlook remains uncertain, influenced by the U.S. elections and international vendors’ strategies, with potential growth through RaaS (Robotics as a Service) and increased mergers and acquisitions. Recommendations for buyers include gaining senior management support, understanding their processes and workflows, and considering the scale of their mobile robot implementation.

Market Report: WMS Software 2023

The warehouse management system (WMS) sector showed strong continued growth in 2023, isolated from current challenges in the automation sector, according to vendor interviews. Demand was driven by supply chain resilience needs and a pivot to cloud, though growth was limited by a lack of experienced staff. Vendors expressed confidence in the positive medium-term outlook, especially for cloud deployments. The rise of the warehouse execution system (WES) as a potential “missing link” between WMS and warehouse control systems (WCS) was noted. The sector has seen high M&A activity. Overall, the WMS sector is poised for further growth, though constrained by staff shortages.

Market Report: Sortation Equipment 2023

The multi-billion dollar global sortation equipment market continues to grow at over 5% annually, though growth has slowed somewhat post-pandemic. Despite economic concerns, retailers, 3PLs, and parcel carriers remain key investors, adopting new technologies like robotics and smaller distribution centers. Cross-belt sorters are the gold standard but robot sorters are an increasingly popular option given their flexibility, speed, and smaller footprint. Consolidation has occurred via M&A leading to a stable transaction level. The market is positively influenced by continued online retail and parcel growth, labor shortages driving automation, and technology innovation, though new entrants are mostly focused on robotics.

Market Report: E-Grocery Infrastructure 2023

In the post-COVID grocery landscape, capacity constraints have eased, presenting an optimistic future for vendors. The pandemic acted as a preview of an e-grocery era with sustained growth in the Food & Beverage sector, driven by remote work and inflation. E-grocery is rebounding, reflected in industry changes such as Walmart’s acquisition of Alert Innovation. Automation strategies are evolving toward localized solutions, and store layouts are adapting for efficient online order processing. Balancing profitability and ROI in e-grocery automation remains a challenge. The blend of online and offline experiences is pushing digitization and system integration. While short-term demand has normalized, the industry’s long-term growth prospects remain strong as grocers navigate this evolving landscape.

Market Report: Goods-to-Person Ecommerce Fulfilment Robotics 2023

2022 saw high revenue for the G2P sector remain above pre-pandemic levels, though growth slowed from 2021’s post-COVID rebound. Despite confusing economic indicators, there is cautious optimism for 2023 based on existing order books, though some customers are delaying new projects. Supply chain disruptions continued causing margin and scheduling pressures. M&A activity increased but VC declined due to rising rates and geopolitical instability. IPOs are expected in 2023-2024 from the queue of 60+ well-funded startups. Long term prospects remain positive, though short term competitive pressures may increase in North America as large retailers cancel projects.

Market Report: AGV & AMR Robotics 2022

The AGV and AMR sector saw strong growth in 1H2022 followed by muted demand in 2H2022 due to the Ukraine war and high inflation affecting budgets. Growth was a mix of new and postponed projects, but extensive delivery delays occurred as supply chain issues, primarily component shortages, prevented vendors from delivering. While early signals indicate educational efforts are translating into sales and raising potential for market inflection, fragmentation and lack of an integrator layer could prolong this. 2023 outlook is uncertain given recessionary pressures, though automation remains a priority amid hiring challenges. Critical success factors include management buy-in, market research, knowledgeable teams, and IT system identification.

Market Report: e-Grocery Infrastructure 2022

The 2022 eGrocery Infrastructure Report reveals a complex and evolving grocery industry still in its infancy when it comes to online technologies, despite significant investments and experimentation. While non-legacy grocers actively deploy automation, legacy grocers take a more cautious approach post-pandemic. Inflation and geopolitical events impact consumer behavior and supply chains. There is no silver bullet solution, though shared last mile and headless e-grocery platforms gain traction. The sector continues significant hiring and capex for digitalization, though online sales retreat from pandemic highs. Overall, grocers are testing various fulfillment models rather than pursuing a single approach. Significant challenges remain in replicating efficient physical supply chains online.

Market Report: Goods-to-Person Ecommerce Fulfilment Robotics 2022

2021 brought record warehouse automation growth following 2020’s dismal performance, fueled by ecommerce, affordable financing, and labor shortages. However, volatile supply chains disrupted timelines and components pricing. Vendor-integrator partnerships signaled technological maturity. Customers demanded quicker deployments, straining talent supplies. Some vendors bypassed integrators to avoid losing projects. Despite uncertainties, most expect 2023 supply chain improvements. Early 2022 saw unprecedented fundraising (Exotec’s $335M). Automation selection remains challenging for customers, with subjective factors influencing decisions. The sector sees rapid expansion amid supply instability, talent constraints, IP disputes, and anticipated consolidation.

Market Report: AGV & AMR Robotics 2021

The AGV and AMR robotics sector saw significant growth in 2021 despite ongoing supply chain disruptions. The sector is quite fragmented due to the high degree of customization and flexibility in these robots. Customers approach purchases differently based on their expertise level. Growth was strong but uneven across industries in 2021, and supply chain issues caused delays for both vendors and customers. A talent shortage may have limited growth by up to 10% in 2021. M&A activity was high with 3 major acquisitions, though total investment declined 60% from 2020. The outlook for 2022 growth is uncertain, as some buyers may have pulled demand forward into 2021. Overall the pandemic seems to have increased customer interest in automation options.

Market Report: e-Grocery Infrastructure 2021

The pandemic accelerated the growth of e-grocery as consumers shifted to online grocery shopping, but the grocery sector was unprepared due to a lack of previous investments in e-commerce infrastructure. This led to a fragmented vendor landscape with few proven end-to-end solutions. While pureplay e-grocers like Instacart saw huge growth, legacy grocers struggled to exceed 10% online revenue. The pandemic froze investments in 2020 though some resumed in 2021. Despite interest from grocery retailers, vendors cite barriers like high ROI expectations and retail complexity. Looking ahead, technologies like Amazon Go may improve in-store inventory accuracy, while leaders like Alibaba deploy omni-channel capabilities. Overall, the pandemic spotlighted the need for greater investment in e-grocery infrastructure and integration.

Market Report: Goods-to-Person Ecommerce Fulfilment Robotics 2021

The outlook for the automated goods-to-person (G2P) market in 2021 is very positive, driven by ecommerce growth. G2P companies like Berkshire Grey successfully went public via SPACs at high valuations, indicating increased confidence in the sector. Although the pandemic initially froze projects, activity restarted in mid-2020 with strong incoming orders in 2021. Significant new partnerships were formed, often for sales channel access, including top systems integrators. Longer term trends show continued growth, with more hybrid solutions and production deployments of picking robots. Grocers are adopting more micro-fulfillment centers. Overall there is increased investment and optimism about automation post-pandemic, although some volatility is expected. STIQ views early 2021 indications as positive, with further IPOs likely as investors seek exits.

Market Report: AGV & AMR Robotics 2020

The AGV market has experienced significant fragmentation with over 230 vendors globally, the majority located in Europe, although North American companies capture most funding. The market has expanded 53% over the past decade driven by the availability of off-the-shelf technology like SLAM navigation. However, AGVs continue to use a mix of technologies from magnetic guidance to laser and SLAM, each suited for different applications across the main form factors of Truck, Mouse, and Fork. Vendors utilize a variety of business models based on make vs buy approaches for hardware and software, with many opting to outsource complex navigation software. COVID-19 caused an initial uniform decline in business followed by differing recovery paces geographically and by sector. While enterprise fleets remain entirely on-premise, potentially delaying optimization, standards like VDA5050 may push commoditization but also spur innovation. With continued growth, the lack of a used AGV market seems likely to change as more software-driven vehicles are deployed.

Market Report: Goods-to-Person Ecommerce Fulfilment Robotics 2020

In 2019, there was increasing traction and adoption of warehouse robotics solutions across sectors, with pilots converting into larger installations and new vendors entering the space. Piece picking robotics gained prominence, attracting significant funding, while micro fulfilment centres became part of the last mile solution. Major retailers acquired robotics companies and expanded fulfilment services. Despite some large M&A deals like Shopify’s acquisition of 6 River Systems, no ‘lights out’ warehouses are expected soon. The sector continues to attract investments, with potential IPOs being planned for 2020/2021. Key trends include hybrid solutions, easy integration with WMS/ERPs, digital twins, and Chinese influence. Overall, 2019 marked an inflection point for growth in warehouse automation and robotics.

Market Report: Goods-to-Person Ecommerce Fulfilment Robotics 2019

The goods-to-person robotics market for ecommerce warehouse fulfillment has seen accelerated growth and dynamic change from 2018 to 2019, with the market doubling from $250 million to $400-500 million. Key developments include two companies raising over $100 million each, one customer ordering 5,000 AMRs in a single order, the emergence of hybrid robots, and a focus on ASRS solutions for online grocery. Despite competitive pressures, Ocado continues to see orders from major grocery chains. The market is nascent but experiencing rapid expansion and further growth is expected.

Market Report: Goods-to-Person Ecommerce Fulfilment Robotics 2018

The global goods-to-person robotics market is being driven by ecommerce and the need for faster order fulfillment. China is dominating the AMR segment with companies like Quicktron, Geek+ and HIK Vision accounting for over 85% market share in 2021. North America is leading adoption of PA-AMRs which offer flexibility and safety benefits. The ASRS market is mature with steady growth forecast among legacy suppliers and high density use cases. Key trends are China’s rapid AMR deployment, North America’s progress in PA-AMR for manufacturing and fulfillment, and the flexibility and cost savings these robots can provide. Though still early stage, significant growth is expected as more companies automate fulfillment to meet consumer demand.

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