Material Handling Equipment – Necessity or Luxury?

Material handling equipment, while it may seem like a vague term, can be applied to any and all tools and machinery used for the movement, control, protection and storage of materials. This type of equipment is classified into four groups based on utility: transport, positioning, unit load formation and storage. Although the usefulness of the equipment itself has been established without much contention, the case for it being a necessity has seen a bit of dispute. While many believe that such tools are a pivotal part of almost any business, there are others who seem to believe that the financial cost of the equipment outweighs its utility. The reasons for this belief may at first seem reasonable, but on closer inspection they do not really stand up to scrutiny.


The most cited reason for the lack of proper material handling equipment is price. Most businesses attempt to keep material costs low, thus see the purchase of such equipment detrimental to that goal. However, by doing this not only are they failing in that endeavour, but they may actually be losing money. Material handling equipment is not only financially lucrative in the long run, but has the added benefit of increasing productivity and streamlining the transport and storage process significantly, as fewer workers would be able to accomplish more tasks in less time.

Another benefit of proper material handling equipment is customer satisfaction. The before-mentioned increase in the speed with which products can be transported and stored also means a lot to the customers. The assurance of proper storage conditions and reliable protection of the products goes a long way for giving the customer a greater sense of security and comfort, thereby insuring many more repeat clients. Additionally, the removal of redundancies during the service means that the needs of a larger number of customers can be met and taken care of more effectively.

Possibly the most overlooked aspect of having material handling equipment is workplace safety. Proper equipment not only decreases the number, but also the risk of workplace accidents, by eliminating some of the burdens that would have otherwise been placed on the workers themselves.

If the findings are to be trusted, then it is readily apparent that material handling equipment is beneficial to the businesses, customers and workers. That means that for all parties involved, the possession of proper material handling equipment is not only important, but almost essential.