Materials Handling Systems Is Meeting Explosive Demand Driven By E-Commerce

The public embrace of buying and selling consumer items online has created an explosive growth of need by sellers to build systems to handle and ship products.

That includes sorting, conveying and shipping system that are fully automated and highly efficient. Because every business model is different, the e-commerce explosion has created enormous challenges for engineers – but also fantastic opportunities to create jobs, stimulate the economy and provide better service to customers than ever before.

Take, for example, Kentucky-based Santa Rosa Systems, a material handling firm and sister company of Material Handling Systems. It announced recently is will invest $16 million and create 60 news jobs as it expands its operation to keep up with demand.

It’s just one example of the robust growth in the materials handling sector. What’s even more remarkable is that this trend is accelerating even during times when overall retail sales slow. It is the e-commerce factor itself which is driving demand.

Consider that e-commerce accounted for just 7.8 percent of total retail sales in the first quarter — but it grew by 15.2 percent compared to a year earlier. At the same time, overall retail sales advanced just 2.2 percent.

Material Handling Systems (MHS), headquartered in Mt. Washington, Kentucky, is one of America’s premier materials handling firms. It employs more than 2,000 engineers and sets up more than 100 new systems for a wide range of clients every year. To date, MHS has installed an estimated $5 billion is systems globally.

The company builds automated sorters, conveyors, extendable loader/unloaders and structural steel support systems. It’s key to remember that no two systems are the same. Different products, different locations, divergent customer bases and more means a certain amount of “reinventing the wheel” is needed to customize solutions for each business model.

That explains why Materials Handling Systems ( 2,000-plus engineers — and it’s keeping them busy!

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