Global forklift market set for ‘consistent growth’ over the next decade

THE global forklift market is expected to see ‘consistent growth’ of 4-5% over the next decade, new research has revealed.

According to Interact Analysis’ Global Forklift Market – Dec 2022 report, growth was lower in 2022 than previously predicted, however the overall forecast remains ‘robust’ over the ten-year period to 2032.

Growth in forklift shipments is said to have ‘plateaued’ in 2019, having been at a low level for several years. The pandemic, supply chain issues and project delays caused a widening gap between order intake and shipments.

Interact Analysis said shipment growth is set to continue, as most suppliers are still processing 2021 orders. However, there is a 10% decline in orders forecast for 2022. In addition, prices are being driven up by rising materials, energy and logistics costs, as well as the war in Ukraine and lockdowns in some Asian countries.

The core driver for forklift market growth remains the continuing rise in labour costs, which is putting pressure on businesses to progress with automation plans. As a result, demand for automation equipment is expected to rise steadily over the long term, with electrification a ‘key trend’ in the global forklift industry.

Maya Xiao, senior analyst at Interact Analysis, said, “After 2021’s sharp recovery, 2022 was a ‘cold’ year for the global forklift market, with problems in all regions. APAC registered the lowest growth accounting for 50.4% of total shipments. By 2029 global shipments of forklifts are predicted to exceed 3 million a year, with APAC expected to account for 52% of the total.

“Electrification, particularly Li-ion battery technology, is a growing trend that is showing no signs of slowing down as markets for new energy vehicles continue to boom. This is expected to continue within the global forklift industry, as shipments of forklifts with traditional engines decline over the next 10 years and electrified vehicles take their place.”