History and Prospect Market Analysis of Forklift Trucks

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Author : Sam
Update time : 2023-04-25 16:10:30
Forklift trucks are wheeled vehicles for loading and unloading, stacking and short-distance transportation of palletized goods. Upstream, the materials and parts of forklift trucks include main steel materials, steering axles, attachments, transmissions, torque converters, motors, electric controls, batteries, etc. In the midstream, they are mainly divided into two categories: internal combustion forklifts (including gasoline, diesel and natural gas-powered forklifts) and electric forklifts (including lithium-ion, lead-acid and hydrogen forklifts). According to the 2020 data of Industrial Vehicle Branch of China Construction Machinery Industry Association, transportation, warehousing and logistics and postal services account for the highest proportion (20.5%); in general, based on the clear classification, manufacturing industry accounts for 40.3% and logistics transportation accounts for 31.7%, and the ratio of manufacturing industry to logistics transportation is about 4:3.
 History and Prospect Market Analysis of Forklift Trucks

As a more mature industry, forklift trucks have a clear classification, which can be divided into four categories according to domestic standards, corresponding to the five categories of I-V in Europe and America:

1) electric counterbalanced forklift trucks (Category I): with counterbalance blocks at the rear, the structure and application scenarios are consistent with traditional internal combustion counterbalanced forklift trucks, with low noise and mostly used for indoor operation;

(2) electric ride-on warehouse forklift trucks (Category II): with lifting and transportation capacity, but without counterbalance blocks, with compact body, low noise and mostly used for indoor operation;
(3) Electric pedestrian warehouse forklift truck (Class III): no fixed seat, the driver is dragged in front or behind, only partly with lifting capacity, similar to electric power-assisted truck, mainly used for handling, loading and unloading;
(4) Internal combustion counterbalanced warehouse forklift truck (Class IV/V): traditional type, fuel or gas powered, with counterbalance blocks on the tail plate, can lift They are mostly used in relatively noisy and complicated environments such as outdoor and factories.
They are mostly used in outdoor, factory and other relatively noisy and complicated environments. They include Class IV (solid wheel) and Class V (hollow wheel) of European and American standards.
China forklift sales 2011-2022 CAGR11.6%, global sales share to 55.8% in 2021
China forklift sales 11.6% CAGR 2011-2022, with long-term steady growth. China's forklift sales will reach 1.048 million units in 2022, down 4.7% year-on-year due to the downturn of downstream demand in 2022, with a CAGR of 11.6% from 2011 to 2022, maintaining a stable growth trend in the long run. Global forklift sales will have a CAGR of 7.7% from 2011 to 2021, with China accounting for 55.8% of sales in 2021. Global forklift sales will reach 1.97 million units in 2021, with a CAGR of 7.7% from 2011 to 2021, also maintaining steady growth. In terms of proportion, the proportion of global forklift sales in China has increased from 33.3% in 2011 to 55.8% in 2021, and has become an important global sales market.
Forklift sales are basically synchronized with the change of PMI and have a high correlation with manufacturing boom.
Forklift sales are basically synchronized with the change of PMI, reflecting the high correlation with the manufacturing boom. From the fitting of monthly sales growth rate of forklift trucks in China with the rolling year-on-year growth rate of PMI in March, it can be seen that the changes of the two trends are basically synchronized and show a strong correlation, which shows that the demand for forklift trucks is highly correlated with the boom of downstream manufacturing industry. As the express delivery industry expands, Class III warehouse forklifts accelerate to replace traditional trucks, and the correlation between forklifts and logistics is obviously enhanced. From the fitting of forklift sales and the growth rate of national total social logistics, the fluctuation trend of the two is relatively consistent, and there is a certain lead in the change of forklift sales before 2018, while the synchronization of the two has been enhanced more obviously afterwards. We believe that the main reason is that the demand for express delivery business has increased, electric warehouse forklifts have accelerated the replacement of traditional trucks, the sales ratio of Class III walk-behind forklifts has increased significantly, and the correlation between forklifts and logistics industry has been enhanced significantly. It is expected that the recovery of domestic manufacturing industry after the resumption of work and production will boost the sales of forklift trucks.
Specifically, the volume of express business and the sales of Class III trucks have maintained a long-term high growth rate since 2010, and have a high synchronization. In our opinion, the growth of e-commerce express drives the demand for small-volume warehousing and transportation to expand, while the higher efficiency requirements force electric forklifts to replace traditional human-powered trucks and trailers, which enables the expansion of Class III electric walk-behind forklifts. Class III forklifts become the fastest-growing category and strengthen the correlation between the overall demand of forklift industry and logistics and warehousing. From the results, the sales CAGR of Class III forklifts from 2014 to 2021 reaches 35.8%, and the proportion of total sales volume continues to increase from 17.3% in 2014 to 48.1% in 2021, becoming the forklift category with the fastest increase in scale, which indirectly strengthens the correlation between the overall demand of forklift industry and logistics and warehousing.
The rate of lithium-ionization of forklifts in China is increasing at a high speed. From the perspective of lithium-ionization, the lithium-ionization rate of China's Class III pedestrian forklift trucks has increased from 3.5% in 2017 to 53.2% in 2021, and the lithium-ionization rate of non-Class III forklift trucks has increased from 6% in 2017 to 39.9% in 2021, benefiting from the multi-faceted advantages of lithium-ion performance compared with lead-acid electricity, and the lithium-ionization rate has increased at a high speed. There is sufficient potential to increase the rate of lithium-electricity abroad, and coupled with the relative advantages of domestic lithium-electric support, the growth of lithium-electric forklift export is expected. According to Interact Analysis, the lithium-ionization rate of forklifts in EMEA will be about 30% in 2021 and is expected to increase to 50% in 2025, so the growth opportunity of foreign lithium-ionization is large. From the perspective of export, the lithium-electricization rate of Chinese forklifts and non-III forklifts will be 77.4% and 40.2% in 2021, which is higher than the level of Chinese sales and EMEA, and the category recognition is higher.
The accelerated node of renewal and replacement will come soon, which will help the process of forklift replacement.
The expiration of the service life of internal combustion forklifts purchased in the early stage will force downstream customers to choose between internal combustion and electric forklifts again, which will help promote the process of electricity replacement. From the historical cycle of forklift sales in China, 3-4 years is a small cycle and 2013-2014 is the peak of the small cycle with high sales growth rate. 2013-2014 internal combustion forklift sales accounted for about 70% and dominated, considering that the service life of internal combustion forklift is about 10 years and forklift sales showed a stable growth after 2013, we expect that 2023-2024 will be the year of forklift replacement. We expect that 2023-2024 will become the accelerated node of forklift renewal and replacement.
In the first half of 2022, the company completed the development and promotion of more than 30 major categories and nearly 100 models of new products, such as National IV emission internal combustion forklifts (1-48t), rough terrain forklifts (1.5-1.8t), solid metal storage hydrogen fuel cell forklifts and fuel cell AGVs, etc. In April 2022, the company released XH full series of heavy-duty high-voltage forklifts, including 1 forklift, 1 forklift and 1 forklift for lithium battery. In April 2022, the company will release XH series of heavy-duty, high-voltage, lithium-electric forklifts, including 1.5-48 tons counterbalanced forklifts, container front cranes, and empty container stackers, with a number of technologies such as intelligent control system, active safety control technology, high-voltage permanent magnet synchronous technology, lithium-electric special architecture platform technology for electric forklifts, and multi-environmental adaptable platform technology for electric forklifts, significantly expanding the adaptability of electric forklifts to internal combustion forklifts.
History and Prospect Market Analysis of Forklift Trucks
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