Posted December 6, 2023

Forklift market to be 50 percent bigger by 2032

Strong growth in shipments of 4 to 5 percent is forecast for the global forklift market out to 2032, with greater competition driven by emerging technologies and rising global demand for logistics.

According to global market intelligence specialist Interact Analysis, this is expected to fuel further innovation and development opportunities for the industry over the coming years, as the market looks set to grow by 50 percent, from around 2m units in 2022 to around 3m units in 2032.

Poor demand in China led to a contraction of 12.4 percent in shipments during 2022, with the Americas and EMEA regions also witnessing a decline, leading Interact Analysis to reduce its forecast for 2023/24. Order volume is expected to fall by around 6 percent in 2023 to 2 million units, marking the first time since 2019 it has dipped below the shipment volume.

COVID-19 pandemic-related supply chain issues caused a significant difference between order and shipment volumes, leading to a historical peak of 370,000 units in 2021, as shipments lagged far behind orders. The sector has been catching up ever since, but with a sharp fall in order volumes, Interact Analysis predicts 2024 will be a low point for the market.

Major forklift manufacturers driving recovery
However, there are clear signs of a recovery. This is particularly evident in the performance of major forklift manufacturers, with an increase in growth momentum of new truck business among these companies in 2023, following relatively slow growth over the past two years.

In its latest report, The Global Forklift Market – 2023, Interact Analysis reveals new business revenue for major forklift companies grew by 21 percent year-on-year during the first three quarters of 2023 to reach $19.5 billion, significantly higher than the 5.2 percent recorded for the same period of 2022.

Key turning point for Li-ion forklift penetration
Demand for electrified forklifts has been surging in recent years and Interact Analysis predicts China and several countries in Europe will achieve a 50 percent electrification rate for forklifts as early as 2025. The global market share of Li-ion models is anticipated to surpass 50 percent in 2030, with Class 3.1 predicted to be the first category to achieve more than 50 percent electrification.

 “Our study of electrification and autonomy trends in the forklift truck sector has revealed a challenging picture in the short-term. However, we are expecting the market to rally from 2025, headed by the major forklift manufacturers, and to see the growing trend for electrification accelerate as early adopters such as China and some of the European countries continue to lead the way,” says Maya Xiao, senior research analyst at Interact Analysis.

About the report  
This is the fourth edition of the Interact Analysis market report on the global forklift industry. The report focuses on Class 1-5 forklifts mainly in manufacturing and logistics environments with electrification and autonomy trends.

Forklifts have seen new growth and demand in recent years driven by the rapid development of smart manufacturing and intelligent warehouses. External factors such as the strict emission standards and rising labor costs are also fueling demand, as the trend toward electrification becomes significant in the global forklift market.

About Interact Analysis 
With more than 200 years of combined experience, Interact Analysis is the market intelligence authority for global supply chain automation. Its research covers the entire automation value chain – from the technology used to automate factory production, through inventory storage and distribution channels, to the transportation of the finished goods. The world’s leading companies trust us to surface robust insights and opportunities for technology-driven growth. To learn more, visit