What Are Material Handling Systems? – How They Can Boost Productivity in Your Warehouse

Material handling systems are used in a wide range of industries, from aerospace and automotive industries to warehousing and distribution. They include systems for containing, transporting, and storing materials. What exactly are material handling systems and how can they be used to boost productivity in your organization? Let’s answer these questions and more.

What Are Material Handling Systems?

The term material handling system describes any equipment or methods used to load, unload, or move goods. A warehouse is essentially a material handling system in itself, but it contains many systems that help the facility serve its purpose and reach its goals. Material handling systems are equipment used to increase productivity and efficiency in warehouse operations and other organizations that involve material distribution.

4 Groups of Material Handling Systems That Boost Productivity

Material handling systems for warehouses can be divided into 4 groups: containment equipment, transport equipment, positioning equipment, and storage equipment.

Group 1: Containment Equipment 

The first group of material handling systems describes equipment used to group and organize goods so they can be more easily handled. A group of materials becomes a single load, allowing for more efficient transport or storage. Equipment used to achieve this boosts productivity because more materials can be handled when they are divided and effectively packaged as single units. 

Examples of containment equipment:

  • Pallets
  • Skids
  • Totes
  • Bins
  • Bags
  • Crates

Group 2: Transport Equipment

Another common type of material handling system to find in warehouses is transport equipment. Transport equipment is used to move goods from one location to another, either between warehouses or to and from storage areas or loading docks. This group includes industrial trucks like dollies and forklifts but also stationary transport equipment such as cranes and conveyor belts.

Conveyor belts are one of the most effective ways to boost productivity when handling materials. If your facility must move a significant amount of goods over a broad distance, conveyor belts are more efficient than carrying loads manually or using a truck and are worth the investment. Modular conveyor belts like the Rapid-Veyor can be easily erected for fast transport as well as quickly disassembled and moved where they are needed.

Group 3: Positioning Equipment

Positioning equipment, in contrast to transport equipment, moves goods in one location. It serves to place, feed, or load materials so they can be handled. Positioning equipment boosts productivity by orienting materials to be more quickly manipulated by warehouse workers. In addition to speed, other advantages of implementing positioning equipment in a warehouse include consistent product quality, reduced possibility of damage or injury, and reduced strain and fatigue. 


Examples of positioning equipment:

  • Hoppers
  • Hoists
  • Lift Tables
  • Chutes
  • Manipulators

Group 4: Storage Equipment

Storage equipment is another type of material handling system. It differs from containment equipment because it is used to store materials, equipment, and supplies over a period of time before they are utilized or shipped. Storage equipment typically occupies as much vertical space as possible to maximize warehouse utilization. Some warehouses may employ an automated retrieval system to quickly access materials in storage. 

Examples of storage equipment:

  • Shelves
  • Racks
  • Drawers
  • Carousels
  • Mezzanines

Use the Rapid-Veyor Material Handling System to Boost Productivity in Your Warehouse

Material handling systems like the Rapid-Veyor are the perfect way to increase efficiency and save time and money. Its lightweight, modular construction makes it easy to set up for quick transport of materials, and just as quick to disassemble and store out of the way. The Rapid-Veyor is the ideal way to boost warehouse productivity on a budget. Give our team a call to get yours today.

Legal Disclaimer: The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information on the website as a basis for making business, legal or other decisions.