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1 Market summary

1.1 Market definition and structure

The first forklift truck was developed in the United States in the 1910s by Eugene Clark. It was a counterbalanced forklift truck, presented as a tractor with a platform on which to manually load and unload goods. The machine was then perfected through technological innovations. Then in 1923, Yale developed a model of electric forklift truck with a long mast and a fork system to lift heavy loads. In the 1930s, pallets replaced forks and in the 1940s, forklifts became more democratic and became key machines in the material handling sector.

From 1950 onwards, more modern, powerful and versatile trolleys, capable of being used in small spaces, appeared. Since then, there has been a succession of innovations, giving rise to sophisticated and specialized machinery.

Thus, the forklift truck market corresponds to machines designed for lifting loads, which is one of the segments of the material handling equipment market. Forklifts are very frequently used in the industrial sector to transport various loads in factories and storage warehouses. They thus facilitate the transport, loading and unloading of goods. There are now many different ranges of trucks, whose payload capacity generally varies between 1.5 and more than 40 tonnes. There are also various lifting heights, sometimes exceeding 10 metres, and different energy sources such as gas, diesel, electricity and hydrogen. For indoor use, it is necessary to use electric trucks since they are less polluting, while outdoors, it is better to use a diesel or gas thermal forklift truck.

These machines include manual trucks, which are fully operator-controlled, automatic trucks, without any control lever or driver's cab, only computer-controlled and hybrid trucks, which can operate in manual or automatic mode.

Every year, more than one million machines are sold worldwide, manufactured by American (Hyster, Yale, Crown Equipment), European (Kion Group under the brands Linde, Still, Fenwick, Jungheinrich, Manitou), Japanese (Toyota Material Handling, Mitsubishi-Logisnext under the brands Mitsubishi, Cat Liftruck, Unicarrier, TCM, Rocla) and Chinese (Anhui Heli, Hangsha) manufacturers.

List of charts presented in this market study

  • International trade in forklifts
  • Size of the global forklift market
  • Evolution de l'indice de prix industriel pour le matériel de levage et de manutention
  • Typologie des sites internets des distributeurs de charriots élévateurs et engins de manutention
  • Volume de vente e-commerce chez les distributeurs de matériel de manutention et charriots
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Latest news

Construction: Loxam holds up well despite the new-build crisis - 22/03/2024
  • - Last year's sales: over 2.5 billion euros, up more than 6%.
  • - Revenues generated in France: 1,042 million euros (+6.6%).
  • - Share of the new housing market in Loxam's business: 10%.
  • - Public works sector share of sales: over a quarter
  • - Proforma sales in Brazil: around 100 million euros.
  • - Loxam presence: 25 countries.
  • - Revenues generated outside France and Northern Europe: 804 million euros (+14.4%).
  • - Reduction in capital expenditure: from 520 million to 350 million euros.
Kiloutou tops one billion euros in sales - 18/04/2023
  • Kiloutou has made 5 acquisitions in 2022.
  • Kiloutou's sales rise from €793 million in 2021 to €1.08 billion in 2022, an increase of 28.4%.
  • Kiloutou's international share doubled to 36%.
  • The overall market grew by 2% to 7% in European countries, and by 4% in France.
  • Kiloutou is number three in Europe and number two in France, with a 13.4% market share.
  • The group has 600 branches (including 500 in France) and 7,000 employees (including 5,000 in France).
  • Kiloutou has invested 270 million euros in 2022 and plans to reduce its investments by 10 to 20% in 2023.
  • Kiloutou's online business should increase from 21 to 34 million euros in 2023 thanks to its new website.
Equipment rental: Loxam ready for new acquisitions - 15/03/2023
  • Key figures - Sales :
  • 2.4 billion euros by 2022
  • - Annual growth: 10% and 9% on a comparable basis
  • - Operating profitability: 279.7 million euros in 2022 (12% margin)
  • - Presence in some thirty countries
  • - Market share: 20% in France, 7% in Europe
  • - Growth forecast for 2023: +5% to +6
  • - number four worldwide
  • - two acquisitions in 2022, one in Spain, the other in Portugal
Kiloutou also sees its future abroad - 01/09/2022
  • Kiloutou Group: sales in excess of €1 billion, 7,000 employees
  • 95% of business with professionals in earthmoving and civil engineering equipment rental
  • number 2 in France with 15% market share behind Loxam number 3 in Europe with leading positions in
  • in Portugal and Denmark
  • Acquisition of Grupo Vendap, leader in Portugal, with sales of 40 million euros and an 18% market share Purchase of Holbæk Lift in Denmark (20 employees, sales of 6 million euros)
  • Since 2018, Kiloutou has increased its international sales fivefold

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. :

Aprolis Groupe
Kion Group (Linde, Still, Fenwick)
Hyster-Yale Materials Handling

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The forklift truck market | Spain

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