27 Mar

Purchase & Renting of Material Handling Equipments: A Comparative Study

The ownership of products or purchases, in general, is a commendable way to utilise the resources that leave us with no impending liabilities when it comes to returning or breakage. We have the liability entirely on ourselves.

When it comes to material-handling equipment and our operational needs, there are several issues that we need to consider.

When high frequency and versatility are a mandate: purchasing the equipment is the probable option. When we seek reaps for the long run, we do not have to shell out significant resources whenever we need to rent the equipment. It is vital to consider that the people who choose to rent material handling equipment rely on factors apart from the duration of the usage. There are the basic ideas of high capital investment, the liability of maintenance, and recurring and unpredictable maintenance costs where there is the involvement of specialised personnel to maintain the equipment. MNCs are operating at a large scale that needs to consider the reduction of buffer time for the procurement of specific material handling equipment, as the average downtime goes to a minimum of 4-5 days which would have them incur severe losses.

However, some logistics companies are entitled to a contract of 2-3 years and might bear the risk of damage to the equipment. It is necessary to consider all the aspects of both - purchases and rentals while making a sound decision about their business requirements.

When the operational floor requirement needs a piece of material handling equipment enough over its extended functional life, it becomes a no-brainer that purchase is the best option over the long term. Perceptions vary for every individual as the frequency of the work is very subjective to the industry it caters to. If the total incurred expenses for renting a piece of equipment outstretches the purchase and likely maintenance costs over the same period. The worst thing to do is over-estimate the use one will get out of a purchased piece of equipment and then see it sitting dormant in the warehouse, month after month. Therefore, renting the equipment becomes a wiser option.


Versatility is the next factor: it depends on the frequency of the use. Specifically, to customise a piece of equipment for the company to reap maximum utility. Doing so will significantly increase a specific equipment’s particular usefulness. Of course, if one attempts to customise a piece of rental equipment, the chances for the rental co-wholesale distributor may be very displeased about it.

The easiest way to decide to rent or buy is to conduct a cost comparison or risk-assessment approach. In the practical business sense, to establish one’s business on a risk basis. It enables us to purchase equipment rather than rent under conditions where initial (or ongoing) is secondary to reducing risk. For example, one may find that the operators mishandle the equipment by over-loading a forklift or a handcart.


The overall cost is the next aspect; a cost comparison factor will help decide the purchase over renting equipment if other issues point towards a balanced trade-off. It is simple to compare the cost of renting specific material-handling equipment as opposed to purchasing it.

All one needs to do is factor in the purchase cost of a piece of equipment, its expected lifespan, and associated maintenance costs over the lifespan. Compared to the number of rentals of the same equipment per month or year, the monthly rental rate, and any additional expenses as charges for delivery and pickup.

Not to forget the factor-in ownership costs as well, plus one should be able to recoup some of the initial purchase costs by selling the item of material-handling equipment before it reaches the end of its useful life. Therefore, as far as the expenses are concerned - renting is the best option.

When it comes to renting equipment - it is easier and helps reduce the burdens of certain key factors such as - unnecessary investments, tailored equipment which are ideal for the business, and no more hassle of maintenance when it is under a subscription.