The global automated guided vehicle market size was valued at USD 3.0 billion in 2019 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 14.1% from 2020 to 2027. Automated guided vehicle (AGV) systems assist to move and transport items in manufacturing facilities, warehouses, and distribution centers without any permanent conveying system or manual intervention. It follows configurable guide paths for optimization of storage, picking, and transport functions in the environment of premium space.
AGVs are being highly adopted owing to several benefits, such as reduced labor costs, reduced product damage, increased productivity, and scale to support automation processes. These notable advantages are encouraging the transportation and logistics firms to deploy AGVs in order to boost the efficiency of their operations.
Retailing and other logistics-related companies are collaborating and partnering with tech giants to transform the material handling industry. For instance, in August 2019, Murata Machinery, Ltd. (Japan), a global provider of the material handling solutions, collaborated with Alert Innovation (U.S.), which is specialized in providing automated solutions such as automated storage and retrieval system. Under this partnership, Murata Machinery, Ltd. has adapted the latter company’s Alphabot technology to transform the grocery retail by developing and commercializing the materials handling technology.
For another instance, in October 2019, Tompkins Robotics, a global provider of autonomous mobile robots, partnered with the PULSE Integration, which provides agnostic engineered solutions for automation facility design, material handling, and system integration. This partnership was done in order to deliver automated material handling sortation system to its clients in the third-party logistics, manufacturing, and retail industries.
Furthermore, retail and commerce-based companies and businesses are deploying collaborative robots in their warehouses and expanding their businesses through acquisitions of large-scale cobot providers. For instance, in November 2019, Teradyne, Inc., a global provider of collaborative and autonomous robots, acquired the AutoGuide Mobile Robots, which is a global provider of mobile robotic solutions for increased flexibility, reduced costs, and improved workflow. This partnership was done in order to bring autonomous mobile robots for Teradyne’s manufacturing, warehouse, and logistics.
In another instance, in October 2019, Shopify Inc., the Canada-based multinational e-commerce company, completed the acquisition of 6 River Systems, Inc., a global provider of fulfillment solutions using collaborative robots. The former company took this strategic initiative to enable the Shopify Fulfillment Network by using 6 River Systems’ fleet of collaborative mobile robots and cloud-based software. In addition, in June 2018, The-Scott-Group, a service provider in European manufacturing markets, acquired the Transbotics, a U.S. based AGV manufacturer, to expand its geographic presence in U.S.
AGVs are being used in various end-use industries, such as logistics, automotive, healthcare, manufacturing, and food and beverages. Increased productivity and reduced labor costs are the key factors driving the need for industrial equipment. The demand for AGVs is expected to grow owing to increasing automation in industries. Increasing industrialization has led to the continuous need for customized material handling and transport solutions for fueled efficiency.
Based on vehicle type, the automated guided vehicle (AGV) market has been segmented into unit load carrier, tow vehicle, pallet truck, hybrid vehicles, forklift truck, and others. The unit load carrier segment is anticipated to demonstrate substantial growth over the forecast period. Unit load AGVs are used for delivering pallets, large containers, and roll handling. Also, it provides the ability to schedule the task efficiently by reducing the aisle traffic and product damage.
Furthermore, unit load AGVs are utilized in the place of fork truck that requires an employee to operate. Thus, these AGVs are great for long distances, repetitive tasks, and in hazardous areas. Also, these are autonomous robots, which consequently reduce the requirement of human labor and improve workers safety. Trackable timing and product delivery are the added benefits of unit load carriers which make them efficient for shipment of large products.
Based on navigation technology, the market has been segmented into magnetic guidance, laser guidance, vision guidance, natural navigation, inductive guidance, and others. The vision guidance segment is expected to witness healthy growth over the forecast period. The need for intelligent and efficient routing is contributing to the increasing adoption of automated vehicles. Advances in computer vision and related software solutions are allowing AGVs to better analyze the environment in real-time, thereby boosting the demand for AGVs for operations in challenging environments, such as maneuvering significant components through narrow aisles.
Furthermore, camera-based vision available in AGVs, which is complemented by the LiDAR sensors and computer systems, helps in ensuring accurate navigation within production facilities and warehouses. The cameras installed on these vehicles can assist in obtaining information and detecting obstacles. It can also help in analyzing the infrastructure in real-time within the facilities. The information provided by the LiDAR sensors and the cameras can help in the creation of a 3D image of the operational area.
Based on application, the market has been segmented into logistics and warehousing, assembly, packaging, raw material handling, trailer loading and unloading, and others. The logistics and warehousing segment has been further segmented into transportation, distribution, cold storage, wholesale and distribution, and cross-docking. The assembly segment is expected to witness a noticeable growth over the forecast period. Enterprises upgrading their existing facilities and building new facilities are aggressively adopting modern retrieval and automated storage systems and other material handling equipment to save on labor costs and boost efficiency and productivity.
Logistics and warehousing firms are trying to retain their competitiveness by opting for taller racks, compact layouts, and narrow aisles within their distribution facilities. At the same time, they are trying to boost the efficiency of their operations in-line with the growing demand for their services. These firms are particularly deploying AGV solutions as they can maneuver accurately and efficiently through narrow aisles and compact layouts, along with the enhancement in the reliability of the storage process. The growing demand for AGVs from logistics and warehousing firms is expected to boost the growth of the AGV market.
Based on end-use industry, the market has been segmented into the manufacturing sector and the wholesale and distribution sector. The manufacturing industry is further sub-segmented into aerospace, defense, automotive, electronics, pharmaceuticals, chemical, plastics, FMCG, tissue, and others. Also, the wholesale and distribution sector is further sub-segmented into e-commerce, grocery stores, retail chains/conveyance stores, and hotels and restaurants. The wholesale and distribution sector expected to demonstrate substantial growth over the forecast period.
The growing adoption of AGVs across various industries can be attributed to the benefits offered by AGVs in terms of productivity, safety, and accuracy. AGVs are equipped with cameras, laser heads, and other sensors, which help them in operating safely around machinery, structures, and employees. While operators can make errors that can lead to accidents and mishaps in a manufacturing or distribution facility, AGVs can help in improving the accuracy of the workflows, thereby reducing wastes and augmenting productivity.
Aerospace and defense manufacturing facilities tend to be massive owing to the size of the components, such as fuselages, nacelles, engine pods, and wings. However, the paths through which these components are moved within the facility tend to be narrow. Natural errors, while moving heavy elements through such narrow pathways, could lead to mishaps and accidents. Aerospace and defense companies are deploying AGVs so that heavy components can be moved within the facility on predefined routes and human errors can be avoided.
Based on component, the market has been segmented into hardware, software, and service. The service segment is anticipated to witness substantial growth over the forecast period. The growth can be attributed to the growing demand among the end-users for various services, which include preventive and corrective maintenance, vehicle and software health check, and training employees involved directly or indirectly with the operation of AGVs. However, the hardware segment has dominated the market in the year 2019, owing to the increasingly deployed collaborative robots for reduced human labor and replacement for repetitive tasks in manufacturing or distribution facilities.
AGVs have become a mainstay in distribution center operations and manufacturing facilities where tasks are highly repetitive and standardized. Based on the requirement, automated vehicles are available for various industries, such as pharmaceuticals, automotive, warehouses and distribution, and food and beverages. Based on the intensity of the task, AGVs are available in different payload capacities from 3 kg up to 65 tons. The availability of various hardware solutions in these vehicles, such as cobots, material handling equipment, gearheads, and actuators has contributed to the largest share of the hardware segment in the market.
Based on battery type, the market has been segmented into lithium-ion battery, lead battery, nickel-based battery, and others. The lead-acid battery held the substantial amount of share in 2019. These batteries have low-cost advantages over other battery types. Besides, it offers good reversibility, stable voltage, long service life, and is suitable for a wide range of applications.
However, the lithium-ion battery segment is expected to witness a noticeable growth over the forecast period. As compared to the lead-acid battery, lithium-ion batteries have higher costs. Lithium-ion batteries support the high-power charge and discharge. Also, it meets different industry conditions of user demand, including excellent temperature performance, high energy density, and long-life cycle. These advantages of lithium-ion batteries are anticipated to encourage the AGV manufacturers to adopt lithium-ion among other battery types.
The European regional market dominated the market in 2019 and is projected to remain the dominating regional market over the forecast period. The growth of the regional market is primarily driven by the increasing demand for material handling equipment by the incumbents of the manufacturing industry. Furthermore, automation in every sector has also augmented the market’s growth in this region. For instance, in March 2018, a Germany-based robotics company E&K Automation GmbH has launched its autonomous ultra-flat transport robot, FAST MOVE, to support the development of industry 4.0 and industrial automation.
The e-commerce industry has been growing considerably in emerging economies of the Asia Pacific region, such as China and India. Such a surge in the e-commerce industry is encouraging several e-commerce companies to consider a foray in these regional markets. The competition in the e-commerce industry is intensifying subsequently, and industry incumbents are trying to differentiate themselves by trying to reduce the time taken to deliver the products to the end-users. Deploying AGVs in warehouses is helping e-commerce companies in automating the intralogistics tasks, such as sorting, picking, and palletizing, thereby augmenting efficiency. The adoption of AGVs by the e-commerce industry is increasing substantially as industry incumbents try to roll out a reliable storage process and enhance the efficiency.
The key industry participants in the market include Swisslog Holding AG; Dematic; Bastian Solutions, Inc.; Daifuku Co., Ltd.; JBT; Seegrid Corporation; TOYOTA INDUSTRIES CORPORATION; Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc.; BALYO; E&K Automation GmbH; Kollmorgen; KMH Fleet Solutions; ELETTRIC80 S.P.A.; Fetch Robotics, Inc.; inVia Robotics, Inc.; Locus Robotics; Schaefer Systems International, Inc.; System Logistics Spa; and Scott.
Increasing collaborations and mergers and acquisitions are expected to maximize the environmental and economic benefits for the market players by enabling them to share ideas and enhance their internal skills and technologies. For instance, in August 2019, GreyOrange pte ltd., a global provider in warehouse automation systems, has partnered with eight warehouse solution providers in U.S., namely, Avik Services; Bricz; Active Network, LLC; Infosun; S&H SYSTEMS; TREW, Inc.; UST GLOBAL INC.; and McCombs-Wall, Inc. Engineering. Under this partnership, these supply chain solution providers would help GreyOrange pte ltd. to sell and deploy GreyOrange technology. This integration is expected to help provide a complete end-to-end warehouse management solution to clients and partners jointly.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2016 - 2018
2020 - 2027
Revenue in USD Million, Volume in Units, and CAGR from 2020 to 2027
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, MEA
U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, U.K., France, China, Japan, India, Australia, South Korea, and Brazil
Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
15% free customization scope (equivalent to 5 analysts working days)
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This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global automated guided vehicle market report based on vehicle type, navigation technology, application, end-use industry, component, battery type, and region:
Vehicle Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Unit Load Carrier
Navigation Technology Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Logistics and Warehousing
Wholesale & Distribution
Trailer Loading and Unloading
Raw Material Handling
End-use Industry Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Wholesale and Distribution Sector
Retail Chains/Conveyance Stores
Hotels and Restaurants
Component Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Battery Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)
Middle East and Africa (MEA)
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