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For the current year, the trade association expects stable growth. "Between January and April 2021 alone, incoming orders were 27 percent higher than in the same period of the previous year, and in some product areas they were even significantly higher. Compared to spring 2019, incoming orders are also 15 percent higher on average," says Gordon Riske, Chairman of the Executive Board of the VDMA Materials Handling and Intralogistics Association and CEO of KION GROUP. The trade association is raising its growth forecast for the German intralogistics sector for 2021 from 8 to 10 percent. Accordingly, the production volume would rise to €23.4 billion.

Exports are still lagging somewhat behind the positive trend. In the first three months of 2021, just under 7 percent fewer materials handling and intralogistics products were exported abroad than in the same period last year. Overall, the export volume in 2020 was 16 percent lower than in 2019. With an export volume of 14.2 billion euros, Germany remained the world export champion for the intralogistics sector last year. "The German intralogistics sector has a very strong international focus. Accordingly, the pandemic has also had a negative impact here. Based on the current order situation, we assume that exports will also recover in the coming months," predicts Riske.