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Australian Forklift Statistics – Wholesale Bookings (Source AITA 2011-2005)

Filed under: Industry Trends

To better understand the state of the Australian Forklift industry, I’ve put together some charts using data dating back to 2005.

By looking at trends we can gain further insights into how the industry is performing and what we can expect monthly sales to be. It is clear that there is a pattern of increased sales during the month of June, most likely caused by June being close to the end of the financial year.

Unlike other years, in 2011 there were two spikes in both June and March. We aren’t exactly sure why there was a spike in March, but it will be interesting to see if this second spike occurs again in proceeding years and becomes a trend, or if it was a once off occurrence. If you know why or have a suggestion about why this might be occurring please comment below.

Australian Forklift Orders Graph- 2011-2009 (By Month) Source: Australian Industrial Truck Association (AITA).

The 1.8 tonne to 3 tonne Counter Balance (CB) Internal Combustion (IC) sector (FG 20-30) makes up 30% of the Australian Forklift market over the last 7 years. The Pallet section makes up the next largest category; making up 15% of the Forklift market, although the Pallet section would have a significantly smaller total value due to the lower cost of pallet equipment.

Forklift Statistics by Category- (Wholesale orders 2005-2011)
Source: Australian Industrial Truck Association (AITA).

FG = Internal Combustion, Counter-balance
C.B Elec 3 Wheel = 3 Wheel Electric Counter-balance
C.B Elec 4 Wheel = 4 Wheel Electric Counter-balance
NARR AISLE Stand = Reach trucks stand up
NARR AISLE Sit = Reach trucks sit down
NARR AISLE Order Picker = Low, Medium & High Level Order Pickers
PALLET = Electric Pallet Trucks/Jacks
PED LIFT = Pedestrian Stacker or Walkie Stackers (Electric Walk behind Stacker)
Empty Container = Empty container handler
Laden Container = Laden container handler
Turret Truck
ALL I/C RIDER = All internal combustion units
ALL B/E RIDER = All battery electric units

The counter balance electrics are still a very small percentage of the market making up only 10% of the total forklift truck market (2011). Compare this to the Internal Combustion sector with 45% market share (2011).

Internal Combustion (IC) units have been declining in sales over the last 7 years as shown by the graph below, while electric counter balance (CB) units have remained fairly flat in demand. However, the demand for IC & electric forklifts has recovered in 2011. A clear difference is that Electric Forklifts in 2011 reached their highest number while the internal combustion peak was significantly higher in 2005.

It is likely we will continue seeing improvements in the demand for electric counter-balance (CB) forklifts as the cost of natural gas; diesel and oil continues to rise, and as battery electric forklifts continue to become more and more cost effective

IC 1.8 3 Tonne vs All Electric Counter-Balance Graph
Source: Australian Industrial Truck Association (AITA).

2011 was an exciting year for the forklift market, with significant gains in overall market demand compared with 2010.  It is clear that the forklift market was affected by the GFC, as businesses attempted to cut costs and reduce outlay. It will be interesting to see how the market continues to perform as we head through these turbulent global economic times. I suspect the trend of increased investment in capital including forklifts in 2011-2012 will continue as businesses seek to improve productivity through capital investment and technology.

Significant improvements have been made by forklift manufacturers in the last few years with the greatest improvements being made in fuel consumption with both internal combustion and battery electrics. Safety technology & fleet reporting technologies have also taken some impressive leaps forward as other industry technologies continue to filter down into the forklift industry such as GPS Tracking, RFID, location alert and general computing technology.

Source: Australian Industrial Truck Association (AITA).

We will be releasing this data each year, keeping an eye on the Australian forklift market for you. Subscribe to our blog to stay up to date with the latest information, technology and easy to understand guides.

Blog Post by Lindsay Whiffen

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