The global forklift market size was valued at USD 58.9 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 84.5 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 7.5 % during the forecast period 2022-2027.
The market is expected to witness growth due to major factors such as rising demand for sustainable intralogistics, rapid growth in the e-commerce and warehousing sector, and increasing demand for lean & automated warehouses to increase operational efficiency. In addition, the increase in stringency in emission norms is projected to drive the market for electric forklifts.
The indoor forklifts are projected to account for the largest share during the forecast period
The increase in indoor applications of forklifts can be attributed to the growing e-commerce industry. Quick access, better space utilization, efficient pallet load handling, and increasing goods consumption are boosting the demand for indoor forklifts. Indoor forklifts are the most efficient, compact material handling equipment in warehouses with a racking height of 10 meters or lower. Furthermore, as many indoor forklifts are electric, their advantages, including emission-free and noise-less operations, contribute to their demand.
The Asia Pacific region would showcase the highest growth for the indoor forklift market owing to the growth of the logistics and warehousing sector in this region. This sector has undergone significant changes and advancements, including a greater number of mergers and acquisitions. The maneuverability, flexibility, and low cost of operation of indoor forklifts make them a viable autonomous solution for indoor applications at e-commerce facility centers.
The Suez Canal blockage in 2021 greatly impacted the overseas trade of the Asia Pacific region. This disruption forced companies to increase local inventory levels to maintain safety buffer stocks. These factors are influencing the warehousing industrys growth and, in turn, increasing the demand for indoor forklifts.
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Autonomous forklifts would be the fastest growing segment over the forecast period
The increasing indoor applications of autonomous forklifts with the growing warehousing industry will fuel the demand for indoor autonomous forklifts during the forecast period. This is mainly because of the shortage of labor and increasing labor wages globally. The need for highly productive material handling operations is also contributing to the growth of the autonomous forklift market. The e-commerce companies have increased the adoption of autonomous forklifts in their facilities. For instance, in 2020, Amazon entered a 7-year agreement with French company Baylo to supply autonomous forklifts at its facility centers. Due to the increasing automation in the logistics sector for outdoor applications, the Asia Pacific market would be the most promising market for autonomous forklifts over the forecast period. The main restraint for the autonomous forklift market growth is the high initial cost of these forklifts and the difficulties in integrating and modularizing the workspace layout. However, autonomous forklift technology is rapidly being developed, and the huge price difference is expected to be narrowed over time. This, coupled with the increasing shortage of trained operators, is expected to drive the autonomous forklift market.
North America is the fastest growing market for forklifts during the forecast period
The rising concerns over carbon footprint and increasing investments by several major players are expected to boost the market growth for electric forklifts in the North American market. Factors such as the established ecosystem for industrial and manufacturing companies with their warehousing capabilities make the region an attractive market for forklift suppliers. Moreover, an extensive 3PL network has led to the growth of the warehousing sector in North America. The region also has an increasing demand for automated storage and retrieval systems. The consumer goods industries in the US and Canada produce various goods. Thus, efficient handling and right order fulfillment are critical components of supply chain operations. High-tonnage capacity forklifts are used in large industries such as manufacturing and automotive. North Americas growing automobile industry requires material handling solutions to transport chassis, car bodies in paint shops, engines, and other components. Forklifts are important for handling eccentric-shaped loads, and hence their adoption in the region is growing.
The forklift market is dominated by giants such as Toyota Industries Corporation (Japan), Kion Group AG (Germany), Mitsubishi Logisnext Co Ltd (Japan), Jungheinrich AG (Germany), Hyster-Yale Materials Handling (US), Hyundai Construction Equipment Co., Ltd (South Korea), Komatsu (Japan), Clark Material Handling Company (CMHC) (US), Kalmar (Finland), Cat Lift Trucks (Netherlands), Anhui Heli Co., Ltd (China), Crown Equipment Corporation (US), Doosan Industrial Vehicle (South Korea), Godrej Material Handling (Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co. Ltd.) (India), Ep Equipment (China), Lonking Machinery Co., Ltd (China), Linde Material Handling (Germany), Bobcat Company (Republic of Korea), Combilift (Ireland), Vallée (Canada), Narrow Aisle Inc (US), Manitou Group (France), Hoist Material Handling (US), Konecranes (Sweden) and Hangcha (China).
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