Report: Forklift Industry to Grow 6.9% Over the Next Five Years

three steps to buying a forkliftThe global forklift market will see record growth over the next five years, expanding from the $35.3 billion in sales it saw in 2014 to more than $55.9 billion by the end of 2021, according to a new report issued by an industry analyst group.

“Global Market Study on Forklift Trucks” — a report compiled by the Persistence Market Research group — predicted that the sales of electric-powered forklifts will lead this growth and that the majority of new forklift sales will come from Asia.

Why Are Forklifts Becoming More Popular?

The massive expansion of the forklift industry can be attributed to a number of factors:

  • Expansion of warehouse space in countries around the world
  • The growth of e-commerce
  • Strong demand for forklift truck replacement in developed markets
  • Bulk investments in purchase of low-cost lift trucks in emerging markets

Combined, these factors will account for a record number of new forklifts being sold to industries worldwide over the coming half decade, the PMR report stated.

Electric Vehicles Leading the Way

Sales of electric-powered forklifts will be stronger than any other type of lift truck, including those using propane, gasoline, and type of fuels.

That’s because electric forklifts often offer more versatility than other types of vehicles. For example, they can be operated indoors without having to worry about ventilating exhaust.  They also run more quietly than fuel-powered forklifts, reducing noise pollution in warehouses, factories, and other facilities.

There also have been recent advancements in forklift battery technology that allow electric-powered lift trucks to run longer between recharges and to operate in extreme hot and cold work environments without excessively wearing down the battery life.

“These trucks are gaining traction due to the implementation of various advanced technologies and their growing application across various industries worldwide,” the report stated.

There also are growing concerns about the effects on the environment from internal combustion-powered vehicles, accounting for an increased demand for these type of vehicles in emerging markets such as  China, India, and Brazil.

Chinese Industries

The global material handling equipment market is expected to grow at a rate of 3% to 7% per year between now and 2012, but the growth rate in China could be higher than that, according to the report.

The Chinese lift truck market is expected to have the biggest growth rate over the next five years because of its “favorable economic environment and a need for technological advancements in in-house logistics in the country,” the report’s authors stated.

In fact, the entire Asian-Pacific market already is the largest forklift market in the world, accounting for about 41.4% of all forklift sales worldwide.

Forklift sales in Europe, the second largest world market for lift trucks, will grow an estimated 4.6% by 2021. This mostly will be due to a positive outlook for the Western European economy and the anticipated rise in trade goods.

Other Predictions

The report identified other trends that are expected to influence the global forklift market in the foreseeable future, including the Internet of Things, cloud computing, and big data.



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