The forklift market size is projected to grow from USD 58.9 billion in 2022 to USD 84.5 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 7.5% for the same period. The increasing demand for forklifts offers many opportunities for rental services of these trucks, refurbished forklifts suppliers and advanced solution providers.
Electric forklifts are gaining traction within material handling application especially at warehouses and logistics facilities and likely to grow wisely owing to its longer battery life, lower maintenance cost and easy maneurverability. High switching costs to electric forklifts and availability of charging infrastructure and battery capacity is few key concerns for this market; however growing advent of zero-emission working environment, sustainability, reduced running costs and rising development of advanced battery technologies will support positive future growth for this segment. This will help battery, motor and electric ystem and component supplier to gain new revenue streams from this segment in coming years
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The below 5 tons segment is the largest in this market. This is mainly due to the high demand for these forklifts in consumer goods, e-commerce, and other industries that involve the movement of small to medium-sized goods. In general, the incorporation of forklifts for handling very heavy goods is limited. As the usage of forklifts is end-use dependent, only a few end-use industries, including heavy metal, automotive, and other industries, demand high-capacity forklifts to handle large and heavy loads. Most other end-use industries that incorporate forklifts often utilize them for the movement of small to medium-sized goods. Furthermore, the cost of lower-capacity forklifts enables their utilization at a greater rate.
The labor and fuel costs are the largest costs that are associated with material handling operations. Around 60–70% of the expense is for operators, and around 10–15% is for fuel. To reduce these expenses, users prefer autonomous forklifts as a viable option. These automated forklifts eliminate operator and associated expenses. These forklifts also greatly reduce the number of injuries that workers on production floors and distribution centers are prone to. Furthermore, the three parts of the supply chain, including inbound logistics, operations, and outbound logistics, contribute more than 80% to the total supply chain and contributes a major value to the overall price of the product. Therefore, efficient material handling solutions are needed to reduce the overall price of the end-product and reduce the turnaround time of production. The integration of autonomous forklifts and AGVs with warehouse management software greatly smoothens the transportation process within warehouses and the entire process becomes highly automated and requires minimal human interface. This greatly aids in reducing the overall operating expenses.
The Asia Pacific is estimated to have the largest market for forklifts. This is mainly due to the presence of many leading countries such as China, India, South Korea and Japan in this region. It is estimated that China will lead the forklift market in the Asia Pacific during the forecast period, followed by Japan and India. The Class 3 segment is estimated to dominate the Chinese forklift market with a growth rate of 9.0% during the forecast period. This is mainly due to the presence of a greater number of SMEs that prefer material handling equipment with relatively low initial costs and easier maintenance. The Chinese market for autonomous forklifts is projected to grow at the highest CAGR of 13.9% during the forecast period. The increasing demand for advanced warehouses with automation and maximum productivity is driving the demand for advanced autonomous forklifts and AGVs within warehouses in the country.
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