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HomeProcurement/Supply Chain ManagementThe Unsung Heroes of the Logistics Management: Material Handling Equipment

The Unsung Heroes of the Logistics Management: Material Handling Equipment

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In the complex world of logistics management, material handling equipment (MHE) takes center stage. MHE includes a wide range of tools and devices used to transport, store, control, and safeguard goods throughout the manufacturing, distribution, consumption, and disposal processes. This equipment is crucial for boosting efficiency, cutting operational costs, and enhancing safety. This blog will explore the different types of material handling equipment and their applications in logistics management.


Conveyors are like the workhorses of manufacturing and distribution facilities. They’re used to smoothly transport products and materials along a fixed path.

For example, Amazon’s fulfilment centers have this super fancy conveyor system that efficiently moves packages through different stages of sorting, packing, and shipping. It’s like a well-oiled machine!


You’ve probably seen those big old cranes on construction sites, shipping yards, and huge warehouses. They’re used to lift and move heavy materials both vertically and horizontally.

Take the Port of Shanghai, for instance. They use these massive gantry cranes to load and unload shipping containers from vessels. It’s impressive how they can speed up the whole cargo-handling process!


If you’ve ever been in a warehouse or a construction site, you’ve seen a forklift in action. They’re versatile vehicles that can lift, carry, and move materials over short distances.

Walmart’s distribution centers heavily rely on forklifts to get products from the receiving docks to the storage areas and then onto outbound trucks. They’re like the heroes of logistics!

Pallet Jacks

Pallet jacks are these handy tools that people use to lift and move pallets around. They’re perfect for handling lighter loads and short distances.

Just think about your local grocery store or retail outlet. They use pallet jacks to restock shelves and move inventory from the backroom to the sales floor. It’s all about keeping things organized and efficient.

Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs)

AGVs are like the robots of the material-handling world. They’re these mobile robots that follow specific paths to transport materials. They help with automation and reduce the need for manual labor.

At Tesla’s Gigafactory, they’ve got AGVs zooming around, moving parts across the factory floor. It’s all about keeping that assembly line process smooth and efficient. Pretty cool, huh?

Industrial Trucks

This category covers a bunch of powered trucks, like hand trucks, pallet trucks, and platform trucks. They’re designed to handle heavy loads and make transportation easier.

PepsiCo is a great example of a company that uses all kinds of industrial trucks to move beverages around its manufacturing plants and distribution centers. These trucks are strong and reliable, just like their products!

So, there you have it! These are some of the main types of material handling equipment. They play a crucial role in keeping things moving smoothly and efficiently in various industries.

It is indispensable to ensure an efficient flow of goods, materials, and products through the distribution network. In this regard, this paper will discuss various types of material handling equipment and their specific uses to establish the most effective means of realizing efficiency for businesses and minimizing expenses on warehouse handling. From storage and handling equipment, bulk handling equipment, industrial trucks, and engineered systems, each form is pivotal to the running and operation of warehouses and distribution centers because of their key functions in the handling and movement of materials and products.

Also read: Rare Earth Material Supply Chain: Exploring the Key Components and Challenges

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Shantanu Trivedi
Shantanu Trivedi
Shantanu Trivedi is working as a faculty at the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun. He holds an MBA and a Ph.D. degree in Supply chain management. He has more than a decade of experience in teaching and research. He has published 2 books, 5 book chapters and more than 12 research papers and articles in international journals of repute. His research interest includes Supply chain management, agribusiness, online and distance education, Business sustainability and infrastructure management. He is the reviewer of many international publishing houses. He has presented his work and won awards at many research conferences and symposiums. He has worked on many research with state governments and the government of India. In his spare time, Shantanu loves to travel and explore nature.
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