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Material Handling

Updated on June 14, 2012

Material Handling the defination

Material handling - the movement, storage, control and protection of materials, goods and products throughout the process of manufacturing, distribution, consumption and disposal. This definition is given by the Material Handling Industry Association (MHIA).

While most people may know that the handling and movement of product is considered material handling, they may not be knowledgeable about the fact that the storage of materials in racks or crates, the packaging of product for shipment and the inventory control methods used to manage that product also qualify as material handling.

Material handling equipment is the equipment used for the above definition of material handling. Equipment used for movement include casters and wheels, trucks and warehouse carts, conveyors, industrial lift trucks, hoists, cranes, lift tables and so on. Equipment for storage include racks, drums, bins, containers and other equipment of the sort. Packaging of materials includes boxes, shrink wrap, crates and similar packing materials. Inventory control equipment like warehouse software, automatic retrieval systems, bar code scanners all qualify as material handling equipment.

Material Handling Associations

There are many associations and groups the serve the material handling industry. These associations help bring together people in the industry to network, share ideas and learn about the material handling industry.

Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA)is a trade association that serves the material handling and logistics industry. MHIA is associated with two professional societies. The first of which is the Materials Handling and Management Society (MHMS). This society targets professionals in the field of material handling and serves them by giving them a means of sharing ideas, enhancing professional development and becoming certified. The second is the Association of Professional Material Handling Consultants (APMHC). This association promotes the coordination and exchange of ideas between its members, the independent consultants of material handling industry.

Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) is a trade association that serves the distributors of the material handling industry. This association is dedicated to improving the proficiency of the distributors of material handling equipment. They do this through the use of online educational resources, live educational events, publications, conventions and peer networking,

Material Handling Publications

Material handling publications serve the industry by providing a channel use to distribute information to interested parties. The information provided is vast and the benefits provided can enormous. There are publications focused on various aspects of the Material Handling and Logistics Industry, so it is likely that you can find one suitable for your particular area of interest.

Types of information available in these publications vary from advertisements to breaking industry news and educational articles. If you are looking to either learn about the Material Handling Industry, stay abreast of what is going on or looking for a place to spread the word about your latest and greatest material handling product, then these publications may prove to be a valuable resource for you and your company.

Material Handling conventions and trade shows

Why would you want to attend a material handling trade show? There are many reasons to attend a trade show. If you are responsible for the material handling in your place of business then you will want to attend to stay abreast of the new and innovative products in the industry. If you are in the material handling equipment you may want to attend to network and investigate products that your competition may be coming out with. Also you may get a good feel about what direction the industry is heading and if you listen you may get some unsolicited feedback about either your business or your competition.

Why would you want to exhibit? To help build your brand recognition by exposing thousands of people to your booth. It also gives you a great opportunity to network with other professionals in your industry.

ProMat 2011...Why attend?

NA2010...Why exhibit?

Material Handling Books available on Amazon

Material Handling comments

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    • beindustrial profile image


      6 years ago from Effingham, IL

      great hub! full of interesting facts and information!

    • johnyater profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hamilton, Ohio

      Greg thanks for stopping by and commenting. Are you in the material handling industry?

    • Greg Palmer profile image

      Greg Palmer 

      8 years ago

      Thank you for the information on material handling associations. These trade associations are a valuable place to find a wealth of information on all types of industrial equipment supplies.

    • johnyater profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hamilton, Ohio

      Presatio30 thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Another great hub from you. I really enjoy this information. Thanks for share with us. Good work, my friend.

    • johnyater profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Hamilton, Ohio

      Thanks Jess for all of your insightfull comments. Like most industries there are many aspects to the material handling industry that one must understand and master if you are to rise through the ranks and become sucessful.

    • Lifeallstar1 profile image


      8 years ago

      I never knew how much went into material handling and all the aspects of it. I guess the average person just doesn't think about what these companies do and go through. The trade shows must be crazy as you're either promoting or looking to purchase certain items to improve your business. I've heard of OSHA and know they even have classes you have to go to so you handle usually medical waste, like bio-hazardous items for safety reason, and you need to follow a strict protocol. I bet these others have the same things. Thanks for the article. I never knew any of this. I suppose you just don't realize the behind the scenes aspect of it all. Thanks! Jess


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