Year in Review: Top materials handling news in 2018

In a healthy but fiercely competitive landscape, technology continues to play a pivotal role in the ongoing digital transformation of supply chains big and small.

In a healthy but fiercely competitive landscape, technology continues to play a pivotal role in the ongoing digital transformation of supply chains big and small. Equipment of all kinds is more connected than ever, and the Android operating system is ascendant on the edge as Windows alternatives sunset. A decade after an economic disaster, materials handling and logistics sectors were challenged by natural disasters that proved the value of collaboration and risk management. All indications are that the coming year will bring even more growth, innovation and, yes, disruption.

Here is a collection of the biggest headlines and most telling developments of 2018:

Mergers, acquisitions and partnerships
Toyota Advanced Logistics acquires Peach State
Bluff manufacturing acquires Wesco Industrial Products
Honeywell announces acquisition of Transnorm for $492.8 million
Columbia Machine announces partnership with OTTO Motors
UNEX Manufacturing acquires SpeedCell
Orbis acquires Hinkle Manufacturing
FedEx partners with Vecna Robotics as part of automation growth strategy
Zebra Technologies to acquire Xplore Technologies
SencorpWhite and Minerva Associates announce a strategic merger

Research and economy
IDC FutureScape predictions foretell rapid digital transformation for manufacturers and retailers
U.S. warehousing market remains solid, says Armstrong report
Deloitte studies distinctive traits of digital frontrunners in manufacturing
ITA reports third consecutive year of record-breaking forklift sales

In other news
ALAN issues urgent requests to support ongoing Michael, Florence recovery
Industry celebrates 5th annual National Forklift Safety Day
Modex 2018 sees record attendance
Pack Expo sets a record
JDA, KPMG survey reveals contrasting digital transformation strategies for retailers, manufacturers
End of life approaches for Windows CE and Windows Embedded Handheld support


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