Summary of our market study

The global forklift market, part of the handling equipment industry, has seen robust growth with projections indicating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9% from 2021 to 2027, potentially valuing over $90 billion by the end of 2027. In 2020, despite the impacts of COVID-19, which resulted in a 10% decrease in the Italian forklift market, the industry has shown signs of recovery. This is evidenced by the resilience of the warehouse sector, which accounted for 65.2% of Italian forklift sales, highlighting their critical role in logistics and storage operations. The forklift industry is affected by technological advancements, with varying demand across different vehicle types. Italy, as part of the international trade, is noted as a net exporter of forklifts with a coverage rate consistently above 100 percent.

The Italian market saw a sale of 45,408 forklifts in 2020, displaying a temporary decrease due to pandemic-induced shutdowns. However, with construction projects picking up pace aided by government incentives such as the 110% SuperBonus, there are positive signs for market growth and in turn, demand for forklifts. Key players in the market include global automotive brands and specialized leaders, with Italian firms like Minguzzi s.r.l and OMG Industry Expertlift marking their presence. Regulations on maintenance that follow the Legislative Decree 81/2008 ensure forklift safety and operational standards, impacting market dynamics alongside technological and economic factors.

Italian Forklift Market: A Sector Shaped by Warehouse Needs and COVID-19 Impacts

In the Italian market, forklifts are primarily utilized as indispensable tools within warehouses rather than on construction sites, with warehouse trucks constituting about two-thirds of forklift sales in the country. The number of storage and warehousing spaces has seen a modest increase, indicating a sustained potential for forklift use in these sectors. However, the construction sector, also an important user of forklifts, suffered a serious blow due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a stark reduction of active workers in early 2020. Despite these challenges, the Italian forklift market, which encompasses a broad variety of types, such as front forklifts, retractable forklifts, lateral forklift trucks, trilateral forklifts, order picker trolleys, and counterbalanced forklift trucks, remained resilient. The market experienced a consistent growth trend before witnessing a downturn in 2020, where forklift sales declined by 10 percent compared to the previous year, primarily due to the pandemic-induced economic upheaval. Before the pandemic, the market was flourishing with growth by more than 100 percent.

The hopeful signals of recovery in 2021, particularly due to incentives such as the 110% SuperBonus that stimulated the construction industry, suggest that the market could regain its momentum. In the international trade context, Italy stands as a net exporter of forklifts. The country saw its exports expand by over 40 percent, a testament to the robust manufacturing capabilities and the quality of Italian-made forklifts. Germany and France emerge as Italy's primary partners in both imports and exports of forklifts, though the trade landscape is more diverse for exports. While larger international and Italian brands dominate the market, smaller specialists and distributors are also active in the industry. The market, aligning with broader global trends, shows continued growth with cars designed to cater to a variety of industrial needs and the evolving demands of warehousing. In terms of the regulatory framework, forklift maintenance in Italy falls under Legislative Decree 81/2008, which stresses the importance of adherence to manufacturers' manuals and the engagement of trained technicians for inspections and maintenance work.

Major Players Shaping the Forklift Market Landscape

The forklift market is a competitive space where prominent brands, both global automotive giants and specialized leaders, vie for their share of the pie. Let's explore some of these key players who are driving innovation and maintaining robust positions in the industry.

  • Toyota Industries: The branch of Toyota that specializes in forklift manufacturing is known for its diverse range of high-quality, robust forklifts. Leading the charge with advanced technology and a strong focus on reliability and efficiency, Toyota Industries has become synonymous with excellence in materials handling.
  • Nissan: Under the wing of such a well-reputed automotive leader, Nissan’s forklift division excels in producing vehicles that are both powerful and precise. Their forklifts are a blend of the brand’s acclaimed engineering with the specific needs of load handling and transportation.
  • Mitsubishi: Another automotive heavyweight, Mitsubishi's forklift section, meshes automotive expertise with handling machinery requirements. Mitsubishi forklifts are recognized for their performance and versatility, catering to a wide range of industries and applications.
  • Jungheinrich: As one of the specialized international leaders, Jungheinrich stands out for its innovation in warehouse logistics. With a focus on electrification and ergonomic design, Jungheinrich forklifts are designed to enhance efficiency in material handling operations.
  • Kion Group (Linde, Still, Fenwick): The Kion Group is a consortium of brands including Linde, Still, and Fenwick, each with their own strengths in the handling equipment market. From powerful combustion engine forklifts to cutting-edge electric models, the group covers an extensive range of needs in the forklift sector.
  • Hyster-Yale Materials Handling: Boasting a comprehensive catalogue of handling equipment, Hyster-Yale is known for its durable and reliable forklifts. The brand continuously adapts to market demands, ensuring its forklifts meet the evolving needs of industries worldwide.
  • Minguzzi s.r.l: Minguzzi s.r.l is one of the commendable Italian leaders, carving a niche with its commitment to quality and customer service. Reputed in the local market, the company focuses on the reliability and safety of its lifting equipment.
  • OMG Industry Expertlift: OMG Industry Expertlift represents Italian excellence in the forklift arena with a prowess for crafting specialized forklifts that meet a variety of operational demands. Their attention to customer-specific requirements makes them a key player domestically.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market Overview

1.1 Definition and presentation

A forklift is defined as a powered operating vehicle (electric, diesel or gas) whose purpose is to lift and transfer loads in factories, warehouses or logistics depots.

The forklift market is actually a segment of the larger handling equipment industry.

There are many types of forklifts, some of which are:

  • Carklift counterbalanced electric or thermal (front-end) forklift;
  • Reach truck;
  • Order picker trolley;
  • Trilateral trolley;
  • Others.

Globally, the market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 9% between 2021 and 2027 to a value of more than $90 billion by the end of 2027.

It is also estimated that up to 2.2 million units will be produced by 2023, this growing trend is due to the use of these operating vehicles in more and more industries.

Another trend that is driving the growth of this market certainly relates to technological advances in recent years.

In Italy, the market has been considered stable for several years. The regions that have recorded the largest number of forklift orders in recent years are those in the north, in particular in first place is Lombardy, where 11,766 forklifts were sold then Piedmont and Valle D'Aosta immediately followed by Liguria and Veneto.

As for southern Italy, a significant growth in forklift orders can be observed mainly due to the food sector.

However, it must also be kept in mind that the recent health crisis has somewhat held back this market. This negative trend is due to the shutdown of many warehouses imposed in 2020. however, it is important to keep in mind that the market trend changes according to different types of carts. It can be estimated that the demand for warehouse carts have suffered the least during this crisis while front-end carts have suffered the most.

In any case, future growth is expected demonstrated already by the significant recovery observed during 2021.

List of charts presented in this market study

  • World market for forklift trucks
  • International trade in forklifts
  • Area of new non-residential construction by quarter
  • Area of new non-residential construction by year
  • Breakdown of the forklift market, by forklift type
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Latest news

United Kingdom: Nissan invests £1.12 billion in electric cars - 24/11/2023
  • Nissan has announced an investment of over £1 billion in the construction of two new electric car models.
  • The UK automotive industry contributes £71 billion a year to the UK economy.
  • 7.more than 1,000 Nissan employees and 30,000 supply chain employees in the UK
  • In 2021, Nissan and its battery supplier AESC announced a £1 billion investment in the Sunderland site to build its first gigafactory.
  • German carmaker BMW announced an investment of over £600 million in the electrification of Mini cars in the UK.
  • Tata, owner of Jaguar Land Rover, announced a £4 billion investment in an electric battery mega-plant in the UK.
Nissan and Mitsubishi launch electric mini-cars to make them accessible to as many people as possible. - 10/08/2022
  • The two automakers have been working on this project for three years within their joint venture NMKV, which specializes in the very specific "kei car" segment.
  • Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors to launch two small, low-cost electric vehicles in Japan this summer
  • With subsidies from the central government and local authorities, customers will be able to spend just 1.4 million yen (10,000 euros) on a vehicle equipped with the latest technology
  • Nissan and Mitsubishi's electric "kei" are equipped with 20 kWh batteries, offering a top speed of 130 km/h and a range of 180 km, which is "good enough" for a large proportion of the country's drivers

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Toyota Industries
Kion Group (Linde, Still, Fenwick)
OMG Industry Expertlift
Minguzzi s.r.l
Hyster-Yale Materials Handling
Aprolis Groupe
Anhui HELI

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