Intralogistics: a look back and an eye on the future

Dec 20, 2022


Despite ongoing uncertainties in the global economy and various headwinds pointing to an impending recession DLL’s intralogistics team has continued to grow throughout 2022. Here, we look back on the team’s key successes this year, and consider what’s next for the intralogistics industry.

2022 has been quite a year for DLL’s intralogistics team, building solid momentum and developing opportunities. As announced at the beginning of the year, DLL has grown its intralogistics team in the Benelux, Americas, Southern and Eastern Europe, the Nordic region, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and ANZ. This expanded global team confirms DLL’s commitment to the market and benefits both partners and customers.

Local knowledge on a global scale.
“We now have increased capacity to provide our partners with a vital pipeline to markets across the globe,” says Marco Wagner, Global Head of Intralogistics. “Having experts with specific, local market knowledge means we can assist customers with a tailored package to finance their investment into automation projects on a global scale. This is important to our customers and DLL as financing automation in one market might look very different in another.”

Unfortunately, supply chain issues, a slowdown in the growth of eCommerce, and the Ukraine conflict have all added a level of uncertainty, which has impacted the speed at which businesses are making decisions on new investments.

“Our main challenge is the uncertainty in the market,” explains Guido Guiking, Intralogistics Sales Manager – Benelux. “People are more conservative about taking risks and making investments. This is leading to delays in starting projects.”

Despite this, DLL is seeing encouraging growth in its sales pipeline, with projects for the next two years exceeding internal forecasts.

“We see enormous potential in the intralogistics market and growth is now accelerating as businesses realize they can finance an entire automation project with DLL,” says Cesar Nosti, Intralogistics Sales Manager – South & East Europe. “We are breaking down the perception that end users have to fund large intralogistics projects with their own capital.”

“Every time we introduce our intralogistics offering into a new market, there is a huge amount of interest,” adds Marco. “Our local presence in many important markets is having a big impact on our sales pipeline, while the number of intralogistics equipment suppliers working with DLL is also increasing at a healthy rate, allowing them to win contracts in a variety of industries.”

Being pro-active in the market is the key to growing the number of projects DLL is involved in. “A large proportion of our time is spent on business development,” explains Cesar. Visiting events and exhibitions and forming new relationships with suppliers and integrators has been fundamental to the success of intralogistics financing for DLL.

“Our focus has also been placed on establishing working relationships with consultancy firms and real estate companies who see the value DLL can offer in helping their customers realize their projects,” Cesar adds.

Growth Industries for intralogistics
For DLL, third party logistics providers have been the biggest adopters of automation, while the food and beverage and retail sectors are also seeing the potential of automating their operations.

“Regarding the assets we are financing, there is no clear trend as every application is different,” explains Cesar. “We have the experience to support all types of assets and projects, from the very start of a long project setup period right through to the completion of the project.”

Looking ahead to 2023
DLL is well positioned to help companies invest in automation, which can assist businesses reach targets in areas such as sustainability and safety.

Sustainability has increasingly become a focal point for businesses, with significant investments driven by the need to meet environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards. Investments in eMobility, LED lighting, and solar panels in warehousing can all contribute to a reduced carbon footprint, as well as reduced running costs in intralogistics operations.

While labour availability has certainly become a concern, many DLL customers are also considering automation from a workplace safety perspective. Robots can work in conditions that would be difficult or dangerous for humans to operate in, such as cold environments. These robots can either be automated or controlled remotely from a safe location.

Another key area where DLL is looking to support its suppliers is in Robots as a Service (RaaS). “We are helping our vendor partners offer RaaS,” Marco explains. “We can offer multiple lease concepts on robots to suppliers or customers, so they can deploy it on a rental basis. This means the application of robots within an operation does not require a large capital outlay, converting it from CAPEX to OPEX and freeing up crucial funds for other projects.”

Making the impossible possible
While the forklift and materials handling equipment (MHE) market has been working on a rental or leasing model for a long time, the intralogistics market is only recently developing in this direction.

“We’re always hearing ‘I didn’t know that was possible’ from our customers,” says Cesar.

In addition to providing guidance for end users, DLL also has the expertise to advise equipment suppliers on how to educate their customers on the leasing options available, use leasing as a selling tool, and gain a competitive advantage.

With large intralogistics projects typically having a long return on investment period of 5-10 years, many banks or other lenders find it tricky to offer a competitive finance packages. DLL has the experience to provide funding solutions for robotics or automation projects that doesn’t tie up a credit line, giving customers the option of a tailored product they didn’t even know was available.

Finance intralogistics projects with DLL
No matter which business you are in, DLL is ready to talk to businesses about how we can help you realize your automation project. Connect with our intralogistics experts to see how DLL can help enable ambitious projects that bring high efficiency and potential savings to your operation.