Forklift Sales Trends | Vancouver, BC, Canada

by Scott McLeod

Use Forklift Sales Trends To Help You See The Future

Forklift sales trends, derived from forklift sales statistics, can be a leading economic indicator for many businesses because the forklift industry touches so many different types of market segments throughout North America and other parts of the world.

If you think about it, forklifts are operating in almost every type of business that exists today, with few exceptions.

For example, forklifts are used in all types of warehousing, distribution, logistics, manufacturing, building supply and stevedoring businesses, to name a few.
Forklift Sales Statistics
Under this list of only six categories you will find a long list of sub-categories such as brick and block suppliers, lumber or pulp and paper manufacturers, food manufacturers and distributors and the list goes on.

If the forklift industry is booming or collapsing, it is likely that the economy is also doing the same thing because of how many different types of businesses the forklift industry is connected to.

With the help of ITA ( The Industrial Truck Association ), I was able to acquire the United States factory shipment sales statistics from 1988 to 2010.

To view the complete chart and graph that display these statistics in their entirety, please view the following links….. Forklift Sales Statistics Chart   |   Forklift Sales Statistics Graph

To view a breakdown of the various forklift classifications to help you better understand these statistics, please follow this link…… Forklift Classifications

Unfortunately, similar statistics are not available for Canada as of yet but I would suspect the trends in the US would be similar to what we are experiencing in Canada.

Forklift Sales Trends From 1988 To 2010

  • The grand total of US factory shipments in 1988 is almost exactly the same as shipments in 2010, 23 years later. Although the average shipments over this period have been higher than in 1988 and 2010, the overall trend has been very similar to that of a roller coaster, up and down with an average gradual trend toward growth up until 2008 when the market declined significantly.
  • The grand total of shipments in 2009 fell just over 43% when compared to 2008. This is the largest single percentage decline in one year in over 23 years. The breakdown is as follows; Motorized Hand dropped 34.5%, Internal Combustion Engine dropped 53.7% and Electric Rider dropped 37.4%. Although the numbers bounced back the following year in 2010, they are still down significantly when compared to 2008 results. It will be interesting to see if there has been further recovery in 2011.
  • Electric riders have grown from 37.6% of the rider market in 1988 to 46.3% in 2010. In contrast, the internal combustion forklift has gone from a dominating position of 62.4% in 1988 to a much less dominating position of 53.7% in 2010. Although it has taken electric rider forklifts over 23 years to gain ground, it is also interesting to note that much of this gain has happened over the last 5 years. I suspect the trend will continue as technology continues to improve ( ie fuel cells, lithium batteries etc. ), if government incentives materialize to assist companies transition to green technology and as more companies become aware of the long list of benefits associated with operating electric forklift trucks.

For more information on this and many other forklift topics, please contact Scott McLeod, President of Fleetman Consulting Inc., by calling (604)614-3530 or by email, help@fleetmanconsulting.com.

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