IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘U.S. – Fork-Lift Trucks And Other Works Trucks, Tractors Of The Type Used On Railway Station Platforms – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.
The e-commerce boom seen in the second half of 2020 led to an increased demand for both warehouse space and the forklift trucks required to service and maintain these facilities. The increasing use of lithium-ion battery-operated forklift devices is also in pace with the Paris Agreement regarding energy efficiency and the reduction of pollution.
Key Trends and Insights
Rapid e-commerce growth led to a sharp surge in the demand for warehouse space and the hardware designed to maintain it, incl. forklift trucks. According to the March CBRE report, in North America, the warehouse construction completions increased from 159 million sq. ft in 2019 to 185 million sq. ft in 2020 and the direct vacancy rate dropped from 5.2% in 2019 to 4.6% in 2020. The demand for warehouse facilities near a marine port remains especially high.
The current shortage of vacant warehouse space is forecast to continue through 2021; this will determine the demand for forklift trucks in the medium term. The U.S. construction sector is set to expand further through the single-family segment, thereby driving the logistics of building materials. Consumer behaviour is expected to remain largely in e-commerce and the remote working trend is set to continue as the country emerges from the pandemic.
The pandemic forced forklift truck manufacturers to seriously consider the safety measures required during forklift truck operation. Attention became focused not only on employee hygiene (washing hands and maintaining a safe distance) but also on general health and safety regulations in the workplace, to reduce the number of accidents and medical visits and call-outs. The wireless monitoring of forklift truck operations is now more widespread, allowing for vehicle usage and performance to be tracked, the planning of efficient service intervals and the distribution of vehicle load.
The forklift truck market is developing in line with the Paris Agreement’s commitment to reduce harmful waste and emissions and increase energy efficiency: lithium-battery-operated vehicles are now increasingly common. Lithium-ion batteries are more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient than the conventional acid alternative.
Canada, Mexico and Australia Remain Key Export Countries for the U.S.
In 2019, the amount of fork-lift trucks and other works trucks, tractors of the type used on railway station platforms exported from the U.S. declined rapidly to 88K units, which is down by -30.9% compared with 2018. Overall, exports continue to indicate a abrupt slump. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2014 when exports increased by 99% against the previous year. As a result, exports reached the peak of 279K units. From 2015 to 2019, the growth exports remained at a lower figure.
In value terms, forklift truck exports totaled $2B (IndexBox estimates) in 2019. Over the period under review, exports saw a noticeable curtailment. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2016 with an increase of 21% year-to-year. Exports peaked at $2.8B in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2019, exports stood at a somewhat lower figure.
Canada (28K units), Mexico (14K units) and Australia (7.5K units) were the main destinations of forklift truck exports from the U.S., together accounting for 56% of total exports. These countries were followed by the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Brazil, South Korea and Chile, which together accounted for a further 22%.
From 2012 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of shipments, amongst the main countries of destination, was attained by Belgium, while exports for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.
In value terms, Canada ($739M) remains the key foreign market for forklift truck exports from the U.S., comprising 38% of total exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Mexico ($324M), with a 16% share of total exports. It was followed by Belgium, with a 7% share.
Source: IndexBox AI Platform