Countless companies in multiple industries depend on forklift trucks. According to the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA), “over the last ten years, the UK forklift market has risen dramatically from a low in 2009 of 17,658 units to 2018’s figure of over 35,300 units” (March 1, 2019). That means that the forklift industry has increased more than 50% in sales.
Increased sales in the British market and abroad correlate with the increased diversity in types of forklift. Most of the big hitting manufacturers have been more active than ever in recent times, meeting the global demand for reliable machines. According to Dave Blanchard, writing on the Material Handling & Logistics website, “The Top 10 Forklift Manufacturers of 2019” are Toyota, Linde, Jungheinrich, Mitsubishi, Hyster, Crown, Heli, Komatsu, Hangcha and Clark.
According to the 2018 WITS figures “global orders increased by 10.25% and world shipments by 11.68% and Europe produced double-digit growth in orders (11.42%) and shipments (10.38%).” The situation is different for other part of the world, due to local laws. Whereas the UK and EU countries have no taxes for trading forklifts, other markets such as Peru, Chile, Colombia have to pay duties and taxes for importing these machines. This is the main reason why sales in European markets are stronger than elsewhere.
It’s also interesting to note the impact of recent EU policies aimed at minimising CO2 emissions. According to EU Legislation published June, 2009, “From 2021, phased in from 2020, the EU fleet-wide average emission target for new cars will be 95 g CO2/km”. In the near future, the forklift industry may no longer be the exception to this legislation. That is why many companies are now investing in technology to innovate solutions that reduce harm to our environment.
To summarise, rising levels of manufacturing and sales paint a picture of strong global growth in the forklift industry. However, the potential of each industry within specific regions depends entirely on policies from individuals and departments within governments. These are the actors who ultimately decide specific aspects of market trade – with each decision having a knock-on effect on local supply chains. Against this backdrop, the investment in new technology and the objective of improving efficiency using clean energy will have a big impact when manufacturing industries choose the brands to work with in their warehouses.
Jorge Guzman, PHL