Latest BITA figures show UK forklift sales still recovering
The British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) has revealed that sales of forklift trucks in the UK increased in 2011 by 20% from the market low point two years ago.
BITA members reported sales of 26100 forklift trucks in 2011 which is 4300 more than in 2010. Since the market low point in 2009 sales have increased by 48% with forklift suppliers recovering 60% of their recessionary losses.
BITA statistics also reveal especially buoyant UK markets for engine counterbalance trucks and powered pallet trucks. Engine counterbalance trucks accounted for over a third of all sales, an increase of 26%. This growth has been due to considerable orders form the automotive and road haulage industries. Demand for powered pallet trucks has increased by 50%. However, not all types of forklift experienced a sales growth. There were fewer sales of low-level order pickers and narrow-aisle trucks than in 2010.
"These latest sales figures suggest that demand for industrial trucks, while still growing overall, is becoming more segmented than it was in 2010 when all forklift categories witnessed growth. This is to be expected given the cyclical nature of fleet replenishment and the fact that industry has now satisfied much of the pent-up demand that was released following the recessionary period," says David Miller, Chair of BITA’s Statistics Committee.
"It would be foolish to claim the general economic backdrop in theUKdoes not remain challenging, but there are many reasons to be positive for the year ahead. Warehouse and distribution centre capacity will expand to support planned supermarket store openings and the transition of other retailers to greater reliance on e-commerce. We may not see the same high levels of growth in forklift truck orders over the coming months that BITA members enjoyed in 2010 and 2011, but there is every reason to expect that market demand will continue to increase," added James Clark, Secretary General of BITA.
BITA's sales statistics provide an on-going illustration of market conditions. External overviews are published twice-yearly in February and September.
Visit www.bita.org.uk for more information.