Forklift truck volumes grew at 2.4x global GDP in 2007–17, propelled by the Chinese market, which expanded six-fold in that period. The European market, on the other hand, is characterized by replacements, growing at 2.7% CAGR 2007–17.

Growth Driving Factors

Rising e-commerce business across the globe is a major growth driver for the forklift truck industry. In 2015, the global population amounted to around 7.3 billion people, of which 1.4 billion people purchased goods and/or services online at least once. In total, they spent USD 2,272.7bn online, which results in an average spending per e-shopper of USD 1,582. The aforementioned data is showcasing the rapid growth of e-commerce business and is likely to impact the material handling equipment market significantly.

Asia-Pacific strongest B2C e-commerce region in the world Just like in 2014, Asia-Pacific was the strongest B2C e-commerce region in the world last year. With a B2C e-commerce turnover of USD 1,056.8bn, it ranked ahead of North America (USD 664.0bn) and Europe (USD 505.1bn).

Impact Analysis

Growing e-commerce businesses across the globe and rising need for efficient warehouse management across the globe is expected to positively impact the growth of the Forklift Truck market.

Major market players have introduced automated forklifts which will be implemented in a rising number of warehouses across the globe. For automated logistic operations. With the augmented e-commerce business the demand for automated forklifts will increase significantly in the coming years.

Growing technological advancements in material handling equipment

With the standardization of logistics infrastructure, forklifts usage will definitely increase. With the increase in the cargo traffic and overall space crunch, efficiency has become a major factor in determining business growth and profitability. Huge spending on ports infrastructure and a surge in e-commerce are among factors that are leading to an increase in containerization and palletization. Rental — on a Splendid Growth Path: Rental forklift market is growing at a spectacular rate. Earlier the rental market was mostly dominated by small players; who used their fleets to meet peak loads in various capacities. But the scenario is changing quickly, majority of the OEMs have now entered this market and are now providing rental services along with a bunch of value-added services; including operators, maintenance, and fleet management.

Market Restraints

Lack of Real-Time Information and Rising number of Forklift Accidents

Lack of a formal system to track the time, place, and cause of the impacts, you might be relying on your drivers to report the information.

Lack of knowledge of implementation of sensor and tracking technologies to reduce impacts to a bare minimum.

Forklift trucks and drivers account for as much as 80 percent of operating expenses, a single forklift is associated with 40 separate costs, bringing the total operating expense up to USD 145,000 a year for a USD 25,000 forklift truck.

Lack of maintenance tracking alone can sideline vehicles — and downtime is one of the biggest productivity killers in the warehouse.

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High Labour cost to Operate Forklifts

Beyond safety and lean manufacturing, forklift-free environments drive down cost normally incurred from labor wages, medical costs, and training expenses, as well as expenditures suffered from facility, equipment, and unsaleable product damage due to forklifts.

Forklift operators require expensive labor, approximately USD 62,000 per year to operate the machinery in the U.S., and USD 64,000 in Europe.

Three forklift operators moving product during three shifts would cost employers $186,000 in labor.

Impact Analysis

Safety is driving momentum for forklift-free environments. Although training and legislation are instrumental in managing some degree of risks associated with forklifts, statistics reveal numerous accidents occur every year, providing a reason for greater acceptance of forklift-free environments.

wages per year. The forklift operator accounts for 96% of the operating cost over the vehicle life. Whereas, with an automated tugger solution replacing manned forklift travel, the vehicle can operate for approximately $3 per hour, 24/7.

In North America employers spend billions on wages and medical care. Lost productivity in the workplace costs companies USD 60 billion each year. Such productivity losses paired with expensive medical and wage payments greatly affect bottom-line performance.

Without evidentiary data to support these prevention techniques, companies concerned with safety are proactively seeking alternatives to forklifts with vision-guided vehicles and forklift-free environments.

Market Opportunity

Electric motor rider trucks and electric and IC engine tractors have the future scope in the forklift truck market with a high adoption rate in the manufacturing and logistic sector.

Rising e-commerce businesses have necessitated the larger logistic sites and more proficient logistic operations. At the same time, advancement in information and communication technology has introduced various applications for logistic sites.

Manufacturers are intensifying investments over R&D of electric warehouse forklifts and new energy forklifts in order to improve the fuel efficiency of IC (Internal combustion) engines and to deliver longer working time for electric forklifts.

APAC with an increasing adoption rate of forklift trucks tends to create opportunities for major players in the forklift truck market.

Implementation of intelligent truck systems enables automation of entire material flow and increases the efficiency of the warehouse by providing acceleration in product handling and shipments.

For a complete study of the forklift truck industry, visit

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