Vertical Lift Module (VLM) Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The Vertical Lift Module (VLM) market is segmented by End-user Industry (Metal and Machinery, Automotive, Electrical and Electronics, Retail/Warehousing/Distribution Center/Logistics Center, Life Sciences, Food and Beverage, Other End-user Industries), and Geography

Market Snapshot

Study Period: 2018 - 2026
Base Year: 2021
Fastest Growing Market: North America
Largest Market: Asia Pacific
CAGR: 8 %

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Market Overview

The vertical lift module (VLM) market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8% over the forecast period (2021-2026). Industry 4.0 has led to an increased preference for automated solutions at manufacturing or warehouse facilities.

  • Vertical lift modules form a significant part due to the shifted focus to smart intralogistics. Intralogistics experienced significant disruption over the past decade due to changes in end markets, as preferences have evolved from using VLMs as a mere space management tool to derive operational benefits from connected solutions. This is one of the significant factors that is driving the market.
  • Further, another major factor that is driving the market is the stringent government regulations for increasing workplace safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Act, in its updated standards, have also mandated safety fall protection for employees, regardless of the fall distance. Hence, the safety of the workplace, which deals with the prevention of any injury or incident, becomes critical, thereby increasing the adoption of a vertical lift module (VLM).
  • Moreover, more retailers are resorting to small-format distribution centers across densely populated areas, that is, square footage is both limited and expensive, the need for flexible, scalable automated VLMs handling high volumes in compact areas is expected to increase and drive the market in retail sector.
  • However, on the flip, the high cost of the vertical lift module (VLM) and high maintenance associated with them are few factors that are restraining the market growth in the forecasted period.
  • COVID-19 is expected to contribute ot the market growth in future. This is due to focus towards automation in industries such as automotive, food and beverage, logistics, so as to maintain social distancing, in order to stress on worker's safety.

Scope of the Report

A vertical lift module (VLM) is an enclosed system with an inserter/extractor in the center to facilitate the automatic location of stored trays and retrieval of trays. By delivering stored items to the operator, it reduced the search time significantly, increasing productivity up by 66%.

The studied market categorizes VLM on the basis of end-user industries, such as automotive, food and beverage, and retail, among others, to include detailed analysis of specific use cases and application areas. Further, the geographical analysis overlooks major countries across the North American, European, and Asia-Pacific regions.

By End-user Industry
Metal and Machinery
Electrical and Electronics
Retail/Warehousing/DistributionCenter/Logistics Center
Life Sciences
Food and Beverage
Other End-user Industries
By Geography
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
Asia Pacific
South Korea
Rest of Asia Pacific
Latin America
Middle East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Food and Beverage Sector is Expected to Grow Significantly

  • A significant number of food and beverage companies are tormented with older carousels to facilitate picking, which is now being replaced with vertical lift modules (VLMs). These systems have greatly increased the cube utilization of facilities, by allowing these companies to run seamlessly with space constraints.
  • With the industry featuring massive inventories, the VLM designs incorporate ergonomic designs with trays to support over 1,000 pounds per tray, with overall VLM heights ranging from 15 feet to 75 feet.
  • A similar deployment was made by Hänel Storage Systems via its Lean-Lift range of VLMs. In November 2019, Hänel Storage Systems offered eight of its Lean-Lift vertical lift modules to Tetra Pak, for an efficient store and pick of replacement parts to its production facilities. Tetra Pak’s distribution center in Mexico has been supplying spare parts to production equipment across Centraland South America, including Canada as well.
  • Further, Syngenta Seeds purchased two VLMs from Modula Inc. with one dedicated to seed sample storage and other for its lab operations. Such applications have required the VLMs to be developed in accordance with temperature sensitive environments. The ability to operate at temperatures down to 32°F in multiple cold storage area applications are fueling the growth of VLMs in the segment.

Asia-Pacific is Expected to Experience Significant Growth

  • Asia-Pacific is expected to witness the fastest growth because of the increase because of the presence of the world's largest manufacturing hub and the world’s largest exporter i.e. China. Automation in China is expected to cut costs by30%, by 2025 and also by ‘Made in China 2025’ initiative, manufacturing units are expected to increase rapidly in the country. This factor drives the market for the vertical lift module (VLM) market in the country.
  • Additionally, another fastest-growing economy of the world is India. With India's ambitious plan of 'Make in India', the manufacture and consequent distribution and logistics activities are expected to witness exponential growth.
  • Moreover, India which is the second populous country in the world and has a predominantly consumption-led economy. As per the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy in Q1 2018, the consumption growth rate in India was 6.6%, which was higher than most economies in the world.
  • Therefore, companies are seeing this as a huge opportunity, and thus expanding their presence in the country, thereby increasing the demand for the VLM market in the region. For instance, in March 2019, FM Logistic announced that they are building a multi-client logistics facility (MCF) in India and is expected to be operational by December 2020. This warehouse would have a storage capacity of 100,000 pallet positions and also expected to provide a dedicated area for co-packing and other value-added services.
  • Therefore, the above factors are expected to have a positive outlook in the vertical lift module (VLM) in the Asia-Pacific region during the forecast period.
  • Moreover, in order to contain the COVID-19 corona virus almost every companies are implementing social distancing, safety standards and protocols to ensure worker safety in warehouses and factories which have attracted significant attention. Thus, organizations are reevaluate their operations in the facilities with lowered workforce. The outbreak has negatively impacted hosting of expos and trade shows and is expected to affect the marketing and sales specifics of smaller regional players, amid the market incumbents.

Competitive Landscape

The vertical lift module (VLM) market is concentrated owing to the presence of companies such as Kardex Group, Hänel Storage Systems, Ferretto Group S.p.a, Modula Inc., and Schaefer Systems International. These major players, with a prominent share in the market, are focusing on expanding their customer base across foreign countries. These companies are leveraging strategic collaborative initiatives to increase their market share and increase their profitability. However, with technological advancements and product innovations, mid-size to smaller companies are increasing their market presence by securing new contracts and by tapping new markets

  • July 2020 - Modula SpA acquired a 60% stake of MB S.r.l., an Italian company. MB S.r.l has been a long-standing supplier of materials used in Modula’s storage system components. The acquisition is expected to increase Modula’s competitiveness, efficiency, and production speed, in addition to indicating financial soundness and business continuity.
  • May 2020 - Kardex acquired the majority share in the Dutch company Robomotive and together with Robomotive it will add fully integrated, automated picking solutions to its portfolio. The company will access Robomotive's technology and expand in the intralogistics segment, automatic order picking in full-case, and will play an important role in distribution and production logistics.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Force Analysis

      1. 4.2.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.2.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.2.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.2.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.2.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

    3. 4.3 Industry Value Chain Analysis

    4. 4.4 Assessment of Impact of COVID-19 on the Vertical Lift Module Market


    1. 5.1 Market Drivers

      1. 5.1.1 Increasing Adoption among Warehouse Owners due to Reduced Floor Space

      2. 5.1.2 Significant Advantage over Traditional Storage and Retrieval Systems

    2. 5.2 Market Challenges

      1. 5.2.1 Increasing Energy Consumption Concerns and Huge Infrastructural Costs


    1. 6.1 By End-user Industry

      1. 6.1.1 Metal and Machinery

      2. 6.1.2 Automotive

      3. 6.1.3 Electrical and Electronics

      4. 6.1.4 Retail/Warehousing/DistributionCenter/Logistics Center

      5. 6.1.5 Life Sciences

      6. 6.1.6 Food and Beverage

      7. 6.1.7 Other End-user Industries

    2. 6.2 By Geography

      1. 6.2.1 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

      2. 6.2.2 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. United Kingdom

        3. France

        4. Italy

        5. Spain

        6. Rest of Europe

      3. 6.2.3 Asia Pacific

        1. China

        2. Japan

        3. South Korea

        4. Rest of Asia Pacific

      4. 6.2.4 Latin America

      5. 6.2.5 Middle East and Africa


    1. 7.1 Company Profiles

      1. 7.1.1 Kardex Group

      2. 7.1.2 Hanel Storage Systems

      3. 7.1.3 Ferretto Group S.p.a

      4. 7.1.4 AutoCrib, Inc.

      5. 7.1.5 Modula Inc.(System Logistics)

      6. 7.1.6 Weland Lagersystem AB

      7. 7.1.7 Schaefer Systems International Inc.

      8. 7.1.8 Automha SPA

      9. 7.1.9 Green Automated Solutions, Inc

      10. 7.1.10 Stanley Black & Decker Storage Solutions

    2. *List Not Exhaustive


**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Vertical Lift Module (VLM) Market market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The Vertical Lift Module (VLM) Market is growing at a CAGR of 8% over the next 5 years.

North America is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

Asia Pacific holds highest share in 2021.

Kardex Group, Hänel Storage Systems, Ferretto Group S.p.a, Modula Inc.(System Logistics), AutoCrib Inc. are the major companies operating in Vertical Lift Module (VLM) Market.

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