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Autonomous Forklift Market Outlook from 2024 to 2034

The autonomous forklift market, in the past few years, has seen a tremendous surge. This is primarily due to the increased automation in the manufacturing units. The industry valuation is estimated to reach USD 5,300.9 million in 2024. With this trend gaining widespread adoption, the industry is very likely to report a CAGR of 8.9%, taking the overall valuation to USD 12,450 million by the end of 2034.

Manufacturing industries, in developed and developing countries like Germany, the United Kingdom, South Korea, China, etc., have been increasingly adopting automated forklifts. These units primarily use forklifts to improve warehouse operations, increase storage density, and reduce labor costs. They also help businesses save a substantial amount of financial capital by optimizing production flows.

The warehousing and distribution sector is also one of the largest consumers of self-directed forklifts. These industries, like the other ones, are also using these forklifts to automate loading and unloading processes.

They aim to enhance inventory management and improve overall supply chain efficiency. The booming eCommerce sector in countries like China, the United Kingdom, India, Japan, etc., is one of the key drivers for the growth of the autonomous forklift market.

The industry is also experiencing a surge due to the demand from the automotive sector. Countries like South Korea, Japan, and Germany, renowned for their automotive prowess worldwide, utilize these forklifts.

They streamline material handling operations in manufacturing plants and warehouses to improve efficiency. Even in the food and beverage industry, these forklifts are being used to handle and transport goods safely and efficiently.

The integration of collaborative robots, also known as, cobots, enables these forklifts to work alongside human operators. This not only enhances flexibility but also productivity in dynamic warehouse environments. With advancements in engineering, the future of this collaboration will bring a lot of industrial efficiency to the table. This, in turn, is going to increase the adoption of autonomous forklifts.

Attributes Description
Estimated Global Autonomous Forklift Market Size (2024E) USD 5,300.9 million
Projected Global Autonomous Forklift Market Value (2034F) USD 12,450 million
Value-based CAGR (2024 to 2034) 8.9%

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Key Industry Highlights

Integration of AI and Advanced Sensor Technology Augments the Adoption

Over the past few years, thanks to the advancements in mechanical engineering, there has been an influx of various new additions to autonomous forklifts. These additions have increased the sales of forklifts in industrial settings across sectors.

The syncing of AI and machine learning algorithms allows these forklifts to learn and adapt to their operating environment. This helps businesses improve efficiency and safety.

Autonomous Forklifts to Help Industries Automate

The Industry 4.0 drive in developed and developing countries has driven the adoption of these forklifts in the past few years. In European countries, especially in Germany and Italy, where the automotive sector has reached its zenith, these forklifts are being increasingly integrated into manufacturing and logistics operations. This integration aims to improve efficiency and productivity across various industries.

High Upfront Investments Still a Big Concern for Small Scale Businesses

The initial financial capital required to acquire autonomous forklifts is very high. This has kept a substantial number of small businesses away from the industry. Besides this, the investments needed to hire or train a skilled professional are also cost-intensive.

Businesses with limited financial resources find it difficult to afford them. This is one of the major hurdles hampering the adoption of these forklifts in the international marketplace.

2019 to 2023 Global Autonomous Forklift Sales Outlook Compared to Demand Forecast from 2024 to 2034

The automated forklift market is heavily influenced by the performances of various industries such as eCommerce, manufacturing, automotive, packaging, etc.

This is mainly because these industries are some of the largest consumers of these forklifts, as they are used in warehouse management, order picking, and inventory handling. In the period between 2019 and 2023, the autonomous forklift market reported a CAGR of 6.2%.

In the past few years, the market has seen a series of ups and downs. During the pandemic, as the world faced sudden shutdowns, the demand for these forklifts also decreased. As economies closed, so did the production. The eCommerce sector, globally, also experienced a plunge in growth due to disrupted supply chains. All these factors led to negative growth of the autonomous forklift industry.

Things changed, however, when industries were opened again. Production soon picked up pace, and the warehousing sector also started to recover. This meant that the demand for these forklifts began to rise again.

Businesses got accustomed to the new normal and started investing in automation to improve efficiency and productivity. This led to the autonomous forklift industry gaining momentum again.

Current industrial trends and scenarios suggest that the industry is very likely to exhibit an 8.9% CAGR for the forecast period of 2024 to 2034.

Nikhil Kaitwade
Nikhil Kaitwade

Principal Consultant

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Comparative Market Overview

The growth rates of vertical platform lift and forklift attachment industries and their ongoing trends and challenges have been mentioned below. These industries are considered to give stiff resistance to the autonomous forklift industry.

Based on these analytics, it can be inferred that the autonomous forklift industry is very likely to have a promising future than the other two.

Vertical Platform Lift Industry Assessment:

Safety is always a top concern when it comes to mobility devices, and vertical platform lifts are no exception. These lifts are designed to meet the highest safety standards, making them a safe and reliable option for individuals with mobility impairments. As the focus on safety continues to grow, demand for vertical platform lifts is expected to increase.

Attributes Description
Related Market Vertical Platform Lift Market
CAGR (2024 to 2034) 6.5%
Growth Factor Regulatory requirements mandating accessibility features in buildings and facilities
Restraint Concerns regarding safety and reliability coupled with high initial investment costs.
Trend Customization options for design, size, and features to suit specific applications

Fork Lift Attachment Industry Assessment:

Forklift attachments provide numerous benefits to the end-use industries such as reduction of load moving times, lesser risk of goods damage, improved fuel consumption as well as decreased operator hours. These factors play a crucial role in the increased demand for forklift attachments from end-use industries such as construction, material handling, etc., in the global space.

Attributes Description
Related Market Fork Lift Attachment Market
CAGR (2024 to 2034) 5.5%
Growth Factor Growth in eCommerce and supply chain management, boosting fork lift attachment sales
Restraint Dependency on skilled technicians for installation and maintenance.
Trends Advent of automated guided vehicles (AGV) to meet specific industry and application needs

Category-wise Insights

The autonomous forklift industry is mainly categorized on the basis of tonnage, type, navigation type, sales channel, and application. The section below discusses the top two category insights in the industry.

Surge in the Sales of Medium-sized Autonomous Forklifts

On the basis of tonnage, autonomous forklifts are segmented into three: less than 5 tons, 5 tons to 10 tons, and more than 10 tons. Among these, forklifts with a capacity of 5 to 10 tons hold an industry share of 35.1% as of 2024.

Segment 5-10 Tons (Tonnage)
Value Share (2024) 35.1%

The clamor for autonomous forklifts with a capacity of 5 to 10 tons has touched the skies as they offer a balance between lifting capacity and maneuverability. This makes them suitable for a wide range of applications across different industries.

Besides this, their sales have also increased as they have the ability to handle a significant load while still being agile enough to navigate through warehouse environments efficiently.

Indoor Forklifts are more in Demand than Outer Ones

Autonomous forklifts mainly come in two types: indoor and outdoor. The indoor segment, among these, holds a share of 69.2% in 2024.

Segment Indoor (Type)
Value Share (2024) 69.2%

Indoor forklifts are in excellent demand as they are specifically designed to operate in enclosed spaces such as warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing facilities. Their demand is also attributed to their ability to maneuver through narrow aisles and tight spaces with precision. This reduces the risk of accidents and damage to goods and infrastructure.

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Country-wise Insights

Asian countries are experiencing increased industrialization, thanks to hefty government investments aimed at modernizing existing industries. The growth prospects of South Korea, India, and Japan have been mentioned below. Along with this, there is also a mention of the United States and the United Kingdom in terms of the autonomous forklift industry.

Countries CAGR 2024 to 2034
South Korea 9.5%
India 9.3%
Japan 9.3%
United Kingdom 9.2%
United States 8.6%

Strong Manufacturing Sector Benefits South Korean Forklift Industry

The South Korea autonomous forklift market is slated to report a CAGR of 9.5% through 2034. South Korea, in the last few years, has experienced robust growth in its manufacturing sector, especially the automotive, electronics, and shipbuilding industries.

These industries generate a huge demand for these forklifts to improve productivity, efficiency, and competitiveness. Besides this, the government has also been promoting the adoption of autonomous forklifts as part of its 'Smart Factory' initiative.

eCommerce Boom to Support the United States Autonomous Forklift Market

The United States also is a promising country in this industry. The country is home to some of the world’s most sophisticated and advanced robotics companies. This presence of a multitude of companies has, on a regular basis, driven innovations in autonomous forklift technologies.

This also means that businesses and even individuals can avail these forklifts at affordable prices. Besides this, the rapid eCommerce boom in the country has also facilitated the increasing demand for forklifts in warehouses, storage facilities, and factory outlets. Hence, over the next ten years, demand for autonomous forklifts is projected to rise at 8.6% CAGR in the United States.

Modernization of Warehousing Sector to Bolster Demand in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is also one of the most lucrative countries in the European autonomous forklift market. In the past few decades, the United Kingdom, thanks to the close vicinity of some of the most modern and technologically advanced countries like Germany and Italy, has experienced a watershed moment in its warehousing sector.

The emphasis on automation and reducing the labor force has made companies involved in this industry heavily reliant on these forklifts. This has made the United Kingdom one of the largest consumers of automated forklifts in the world. Therefore, the autonomous forklift market in the United Kingdom is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 9.2% through 2034.

Competition Outlook

Several companies in the autonomous forklift market are fighting for international dominance. Due to their prolonged presence and vast experience, they have gained a loyal consumer base.

These companies have a marketing reach across borders, and they are already making their presence felt in developing and underdeveloped countries by collaborating with local manufacturers. In this way, they are able to transfer their products and technology to these countries.

Industry Updates

  • In May 2024, KION North America and Fox Robotics partnered to manufacture and assemble FoxBot autonomous trailer loader/unloaders at KION NA's facilities in Summerville, South Carolina. FoxBot, a Class 1 electric, stand-up autonomous forklift, enhances workplace safety and productivity through automation.
  • In April 2024, Walmart deployed 19 autonomous forklifts across four high-tech distribution centers following a successful 16-month pilot. Developed by Fox Robotics, the forklifts complement Walmart's automated storage and retrieval system, safely unloading pallets and ferrying them for storage.
  • In March 2024, ArcBest deployed Nvidia's AI technology on its autonomous forklifts, improving object recognition and safety in freight handling. The technology, Isaac Perceptor, provides exact depth perception and 3D occupancy mapping, enhancing efficiency on the warehouse floor.

Leading Autonomous Forklift Brands

  • Amazon Robotics
  • Toyota Industries Corporation
  • Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc.
  • KION Group AG
  • Daifuku Co., Ltd.
  • Seegrid Corporation
  • Vecna Robotics
  • BlueBotics SA
  • Balyo Inc.
  • AGV International
  • Clearpath Robotics Inc.
  • E&K Automation GmbH
  • Fetch Robotics, Inc.
  • Geek+ Robotics
  • Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.
  • JBT Corporation
  • Kollmorgen Corporation
  • Locus Robotics Corporation
  • Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR)
  • Swisslog Holding AG

Key Segments of Market Report

By Tonnage:

Based on tonnage, the industry is trifurcated into less than 5 tons, 5 to 10 tons, and more than 10 tons.

By Navigation Technology:

Depending on the navigation technology, the industry is segmented into three categories: laser, vision, and magnetic.

By Type:

By type, the industry is bifurcated into indoor and outdoor categories.

By Sales Channel:

Autonomous forklifts are sold through multiple sales channels including in-house purchase and leasing.

By Application:

The segmentation by application includes four categories: manufacturing, warehousing, material handling, and logistics & freight.

By Region:

As per region, the industry is divided into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East and Africa.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Overall Valuation of the Autonomous Forklift Market?

The global valuation is USD 5,300.9 million as of 2024.

What does the Future of the Autonomous Forklift Market Look like?

The market is expected to reach USD 12,450 million by 2034.

What is the Growth Prospects of the Autonomous Forklift Market?

The market is growing at a CAGR of 8.9% from 2024 to 2034.

Who are the prominent leaders?

Amazon Robotics, Toyota Industries Corporation, Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc., KION Group AG, and Daifuku Co., Ltd., are some of the major players.

What was the Autonomous Forklift Market Value in 2023?

In 2023, the global market was valued at USD 4,670 million.

Table of Content

1. Executive Summary

2. Industry Introduction, including Taxonomy and Market Definition

3. Market Trends and Success Factors, including Macro-economic Factors, Market Dynamics, and Recent Industry Developments

4. Global Market Demand Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, including Historical Analysis and Future Projections

5. Pricing Analysis

6. Global Market Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034

    6.1. Tonnage

    6.2. Navigation Technology

    6.3. End Use

    6.4. Application

7. Global Market Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By Tonnage

    7.1. Below 5 Tons

    7.2. 5 to 10 Tons

    7.3. Above 10 Tons

8. Global Market Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By Navigation Technology

    8.1. Laser

    8.2. Vision

    8.3. Optical Tape

    8.4. Magnetic

    8.5. Inductive Guidance

9. Global Market Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By End Use

    9.1. Retail and Wholesale

    9.2. Logistics

    9.3. Automotive

    9.4. Food Industry

    9.5. Others

10. Global Market Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By Application

    10.1. Indoor

    10.2. Outdoor

11. Global Market Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, By Region

    11.1. North America

    11.2. Latin America

    11.3. Western Europe

    11.4. South Asia

    11.5. East Asia

    11.6. Eastern Europe

    11.7. Middle East & Africa

12. North America Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

13. Latin America Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

14. Western Europe Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

15. South Asia Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

16. East Asia Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

17. Eastern Europe Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

18. Middle East & Africa Sales Analysis 2019 to 2023 and Forecast 2024 to 2034, by Key Segments and Countries

19. Sales Forecast 2024 to 2034 by Tonnage, Navigation Technology, End Use, and Application for 30 Countries

20. Competition Outlook, including Market Structure Analysis, Company Share Analysis by Key Players, and Competition Dashboard

21. Company Profile

    21.1. Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc

    21.2. Toyota Industries Corporation

    21.3. AGILOX Services GmbH

    21.4. KION GROUP AG

    21.5. Hyundai Construction Equipment Co., Ltd.

    21.6. BALYO

    21.7. Jungheinrich AG

    21.8. Swisslog Holding AG

    21.9. Mitsubishi Logisnext Co., Ltd

    21.10. Oceaneering International, Inc.

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