Market Analysis China: Analysis of China's Logistics Robot Industry in 2019

Editor: Theresa Knell

In the recent five years, the annual growth of logistics robots has exceeded 20 % and the market size of AGVs for the whole year of 2018 is nearly 19,000.With e-commerce giants such as, Amazon, Alibaba, Shentong, SF express and other leading express companies also significantly increasing the investment of sorting robots, AGVs, unmanned warehouses, etc., intelligent logistics has become the general trend of the logistics industry. Logistics robot, as an essential and important technical equipment to promote the development of intelligent logistics, is showing great vitality.

Intelligent Logistics
Intelligent Logistics

In last decades, China’s economy has been in rapid growth. With the development of manufacturing and services industry , logistics industries are neck and neck. According to the data in Analysis Report of China's Intelligent Logistics Industry Market Demand Forecast and Investment Strategy published by Qianzhan Industry Research Institute China's intelligent logistics market size is only 62 billion RMB in 2008. In 2012, the scale of China's intelligent logistics market exceeded 100 billion RMB. After that, the scale of China's intelligent logistics market is in a state of rapid growth. By 2017, the scale of China's intelligent logistics market has grown to 338 billion RMB and it is preliminarily estimated that the market scale will exceed 400 billion RMB in 2018, reaching about 407 billion RMB. It is predicted that the scale of China's intelligent logistics market will reach 585 billion RMB in 2020.

Intelligent logistics has become the general trend of logistics industry

Growth Conditions and Forcast of China Intelligent Logistics from 2008-2020
Growth Conditions and Forcast of China Intelligent Logistics from 2008-2020
(Source: Qianzhan Industry Research Institute)

In terms of sales volume of AGV, it was 3,400 units in 2014, with a year-on-year growth of 33.3 %. In 2015, the sales volume of AGV in China reached 4,500, with a year-on-year growth of 34.4 %. Up to 2017, the sales volume has increased to 13,500 units, with a year-on-year increase of 101.6 %. According to preliminary estimation, the sales volume of China's AGV will reach about 18,900 units in 2018, with a year-on-year growth of 39.5 %.

In this huge market, the three most basic steps - storage, handling and sorting - occupy a lot of time, money and labor costs, therefore "machine replacement" has become a hopeful way to reduce the logistics cost. In the field of logistics, many enterprises use AGV for material handling and realize lean flexible production. However, since AGV intelligent scale is relatively low and operation system is relatively rigid, only simple programming instructions can be obeyed. During equipment update process, it is vulnerable to be disrupted; in the process of transportation, it is easy to break down when encountering static or dynamic obstacles, therefore, only the autonomous mobile handling robot that can be used in dynamic production environment can meet the needs of people.

In 2018, the development of logistics robots AGV and KIVA is relatively mature, but due to the limitations of application scenarios, progress has also been stalled. However, the emerging AMR (autonomous mobile robot) let many enterprises see its application potential and its future development is bound to help the birth of leading enterprises in the industry.

The logistics robot market is faced with the characteristics of large market demand and large scale. According to the analysis of industry insiders, the logistics robot will have a small-scale outbreak in multiple scenes in 2019 and the real big outbreak time point is 2020.

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