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The global forklift truck market size was 1,384.3 thousand units in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with forklift trucks witnessing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a huge decline of 12.5% in 2020. The market is projected to grow from 1,418.9 thousand units in 2021 to 1,908.6 thousand units in 2028 at a CAGR of 4.3% during the 2021-2028 period. The drop in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
In recent times, significant growth has been observed owing to the demand for modern material handling equipment. The trucks are used for lifting the material and used for monitoring and tracking the performance of the operator and monitoring the mechanical and power systems. As a result, with the adoption of advanced technology, there are substantial market opportunities, owing to the manufacturers' efforts in manufacturing of these trucks that are technologically driven.
Meanwhile, according to the logistics survey report published by BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions, the global forklift market experienced an elevation, owing to the total numbers of online orders that increase by 14.1%, reflecting the shift towards online purchasing. Thus, the growth of the e-commerce industry is also uplifting the growth. Besides that, the lift truck market volume sales are increased due to the manufacturers' implicit efforts and their investments and research and development activities and the growth in the warehouse as a service (WaaS). Industry output, fixed investment spending, power generation, and mining activity are expected to flourish the globe due to the countries' increasing consumer spending and economic growth. Also, manufacturing and other industries emphasize attracting large amounts of foreign capital. The government is increasing the construction of airports, rail networks, power plants, which, in turn, will boost demand. Similarly, a shift towards adopting more advanced and expensive machinery at the expense of conventional models is observed in the forklift truck market trends.
Apart from the manufacturers, various truck associations are also participating in taking necessary initiatives to enhance the productivity and safety concerns of the lift truck operations. It has been observed that Industrial Truck Association (ITA), in association with its organizations across Asia Pacific and Europe, is promoting the development of safer products by organizing engineering and statistical programs. Further, the association also contributes to training the forklift operators as per the regulations imposed by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to reduce accidents. Therefore, with the collaboration of the manufacturers' efforts for increasing demand, with the production and sales of the forklifts and associations concerning the safety operations, there will be minimal market restraints that can hinder the growth of the forklift market over the forecast period.
COVID-19 Pandemic: Halt on Transportation, Logistics & Manufacturing Activities to Dwindle Market
The unexpected spread of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in lockdown in various activities, including disruption in the supply chain and logistics industry. The impact of COVID on the manufacturing industry has an extensive effect, as an extension of the virus has impacted other main industrial countries beyond China, India, and Germany. In the coming years, the manufacturing sector is expected to regain its momentum, thus stabilizing the lift truck's demand. However, there could be a delay in sourcing the critical parts where the manufacturing plants have been set up. Consumers, especially in manufacturing and logistics industries that contribute approximately 10% of global revenue, are expected to defer deal closure in case of an extended shutdown. The extended shutdown stops the manufacturing and assembly units in the industry, causing less lift truck supply to companies that require tailored solutions. Hence, reducing the expected growth of global revenue.
Additionally, the impact on various manufacturers operating in the U.S., among which the steel industry has also seen a downfall with a more significant effect of the COVID19 pandemic. As per the U.S. Steel Industry, the U.S. steel production fell 12.7% year over year at the ending of March 2020. The steel imports have also fallen explicitly in January and February 2020. This expected to impact the majority of the manufacturing facilities, thus impacting the growth of the market.
On a global level, the mainly impacted economies are the U.S. (automotive, precision instruments, and machinery), the E.U. (automotive, chemicals and machinery), the Republic of Korea (machinery equipment), Japan (machinery and automotive), Taiwan Province of China (office machinery and communication equipment) and Vietnam (automotive, communication equipment). All these industries in the respective emerging economies are expected to install forklifts in the coming future.
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Demand of Connected Forklift Truck to Uplift the Industry
Adoption of artificial intelligence, robotics, connected things, etc., are ushering in the new age of automation as machines outperform or match the human performance range of work activities, including ones requiring cognitive capabilities. Considering the materials handling industry’s recent development in automation, real-time responsiveness, and end-to-end efficiency has built a contact between the management of forklifts and operators. Therefore, due to the communication advancements, the connected lift trucks' growth will gain traction over the forecast period.
Adoption of Electric Lift Truck is Propelling the Lift Truck Market
Owing to the growth of technological advancements and considering the rising costs of diesel and other fuels, electric vehicles are gaining momentum in production and revenue sales. Electric forklift trucks provide higher efficiency than the other trucks, and also, the components of this machine offer optimal productivity to all its applications. Compared to the internal combustion systems, the performance of the AC truck in parameters such as load-lift ability, ability to negotiate a ramp, acceleration, speed control on-ramps, and braking are gaining the industries' attraction.
AC technology has demonstrated a proven ability to match the performance of Internal Combustion (IC) trucks in these criteria, and in some cases, even surpass them. Currently, certain AC trucks have more capability to speed up compared to the IC truck. Apart from this, a feedback of the spec sheet for Jungheinrich’s 5000 lb. Electric counterbalanced truck shows that it has eclipsed the performance specifications of most internal combustion trucks. The industry continues to experience growth in the electric lift truck class primarily owing to the stringent regulations associated with emissions, several sustainability initiatives, and adoption of advanced technologies in electric lift truck components such as batteries.
Mishandling of Forklifts to Hamper Forklift Truck Market Growth
Increasing demand from the end-users has resulted in advanced manufacturing, which has increased the employees' load. Employees are required to put in overtime after long working hours, which results in fatigue and a lesser amount of awareness and concentration. For forklift truck drivers, this has resulted in increased accidents, hampering productivity, and the increased cost to the company. Some of the common accidents occurring while using the forklifts are:
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The Class III segment would ensure to generate the highest revenue during the forecast period
The Industrial Truck Association (ITA) is responsible for defining the industrial forklift truck classification and is responsible for imposing a set of rules and regulations on the industries using these trucks. In this research scope, the Class I, Class II, Class III, Class IV, and Class V types are analyzed, and revenue is estimated.
Class III is anticipated to hold a significant share in 2020, owing to the electric trucks' demand. Class III includes the walk-behind truck and walkie-rider truck, and walk-behind – stackers that allow the transport of loads with a walk-behind operator but that also lift loads to heights up to approx. 15 feet. Robotic technology is estimated to be used across Class III over the forecast period.
Class V is estimated to have a significant growth opportunity followed by Class III as they are ergonomically accepted and are fuel-efficient.
Class I, Class II, and Class IV have a moderated growth rate over the forecast period as end-users essentially adopt Class III and Class V trucks for various applications.
Manufacturing is Anticipated to Exhibit a Significant CAGR During the Forecast Period
The industries covered in this scope are mining, logistics, construction industry, food & beverage, natural resource, manufacturing, others that include agriculture, etc. These type of trucks have a significant and higher share across the food and beverage industry. The use of these trucks is increasing at a higher growth rate due to the commercial food and beverage industry's growth. Several food processing facilities and warehouses require superior material handling equipment owing to their frequent fast turnaround, wash-downs, corrosive fluids, and cold storage. Sub-standard or unreliable machines can cause spoiled products, lost productivity, and expensive repairs. In such scenarios, such vehicles play an important role in the food and beverage industry.
The manufacturing industry is projected to grow at the highest CAGR over the forecast. This mainly due to the growing demand for material handling equipment across the manufacturing industry. Natural resources, logistics, mining, construction are anticipated to grow at a moderate growth rate and are expected to have a decent growth over the forecast period.
Asia Pacific Forklift Truck Market Size, 2020 (Thousand units)
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Asia Pacific was pegged at 546.9 thousand units in 2020 and is anticipated to emerge dominant in this market during the forecast period. The growth of the region is due to the demand for modern material handling equipment across the industries such as construction, mining, food, and beverage, etc. Also, the use of technologically well-versed vehicles in this region is gaining maximum traction and supplementing the growth of the truck industry. Additionally, the presence of the companies across China is the major reason for Asia Pacific to dominate the lift truck’s revenue and volume. China has the highest number of local registered and unregistered players which have a decent presence across the country.
China to Hold Highest Share with Emerging Local Forklift Truck Manufacturers
China is projected to hold the highest market share owing to the presence of many local forklift manufacturers. These manufacturers offer wide ranges of products worldwide, that too at affordable prices. China is recognized among the largest manufacturing countries worldwide, including developing and developed countries. The presence of a huge number of these local Chinese manufacturers and their variety of sales options interests the global consumer base and hence is estimated to augment the market's growth in the coming years.
North America is expected to witness the highest growth in this volume sales across the region. This is mainly due to the prominent players across the U.S. These market players are indulged in making heavy investments in adopting the advanced and modern forklift type of truck rather than the conventional one. Moreover, the electric lift truck's demand is witnessed majorly across the North America region and is also projected to grow in the same propaganda for the forecast period.
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On the other hand, Europe is projected to witness significant growth in the global market. The high growth countries, including Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands would contribute to the overall sales growth. France and Italy are on the upsurge of adopting electric forklift trucks, which would be a key driver for the growth in the region.
The Middle East and Africa would have moderate growth, owing to the technological developments and growth of the materials handling companies & industry in recent years.
R&D Activities by Major Companies to Reinforce Industry
Toyota Material Handling has the highest share in the USA due to its strong customer base and research and development activities and high manufacturing plants across the country. The company is indulged in increasing its sales and is also concerned about the safety of the employees and low operating costs.
For the development of modern forklift trucks, hyster yale material handling plays a major role in bringing the connected device technology across the trucking industry. The company is further planning to add a satellite-based global positioning system (GPS) feature to its vision system that will allow the operator to monitor their trucks, where they have been, and any faults that have occurred.
The key players are highly focusing on small to medium-sized business buyers, including landscape contractors, mulch suppliers, sod producers and suppliers, residential and commercial contractors, utility contractors, electrical contractors, road building contractors, farms, dairies, and government entities such as public works departments.
An Infographic Representation of Forklift Trucks Market
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The market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It focuses on key aspects, such as competitive landscape, leading companies, product/service types, and leading product applications. Besides, the report offers insights into the current industry trends and highlights key industry developments resulting from primary and secondary research studies. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses the analysis of several key factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.
Volume (Thousand units)
Type, Application, Region
Fortune Business Insights says that the market volume stood at 1,384.3 thousand units in 2020.
In 2028, the market is expected to be worth 1,908.6 thousand units.
The market will exhibit a steady CAGR of 4.3% during the forecast period.
Asia Pacific stood at 546.9 thousand units in 2020.
Based on type, the Class III type segment is expected to lead the market segment during the forecast period.
Adoption of electric lift trucks will boost the growth of the market.
Toyota, Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc., Crown Equipment Corporation are the top players in the market, due to their business strategies adhering to uplift the market growth.
Based on application, food & beverage is anticipated to hold the highest share in the global market.
China is anticipated to hold a significant share in the production and sales of lift trucks due to the demand for packaging transport and growth in the e-commerce industry. The need for material handling equipment has also been observed in the region
Demand for connected forklift trucks is the latest market trend.
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