Forklift Market

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Forklift Market


Crown Equipment

  • Crown's forklift offerings include electric counterbalance, cushion tire, pneumatic tire, very narrow aisle trucks, reach trucks, order pickers, stackers, pallet trucks, and tow tractors.
  • The company does not specialize in any particular industry, however, their customer success stories come from the food, newspaper, alcohol, distribution, and retail industries.
  • One competitive advantage for Crown Equipment is the numerous awards they have one. Some examples include the Green Supply Chain Award, Top Food Service Green Provider Award, iF Product Design Award, and International Forklift Truck of the Year Award.
  • The company also has an advantage in the sheer number of products and services they offer. From a vast array of forklifts available to purchase or rent, parts, and warehouse management software, they fill many business needs in one place.
  • Crown has over 500 retail locations in 84 countries, making them easily accessible.


  • Hyster-Yale's most recent annual revenue, 2018, was $3.2 billion.
  • Hytster-Yale actually owns three separate companies that manufacture forklifts: Hyster, Yale, and Utilev.
  • The forklifts that are offered by Hyster are internal combustion trucks, high-capacity trucks, container handlers, three or four wheel electric trucks, pallet trucks and stackers, tow tractors, reach trucks, order pickers, and very narrow aisle trucks.
  • Yale offers the same product lineup as Hyster, but under their own name. There does appear to be differences, such as Hyster's high-capacity lift being able to hold up to 105,000 pounds and Yale's only holding up to 36,000 pounds.
  • Utilev's forklift offerings include LPG cushion trucks, three-wheel electric trucks, electric pallet jacks, and the UT35-30P model.
  • They serve over 770 different industries, though a large portion of their sales go to the retail, food and beverage, industrial, and logistics industries.
  • Hyster-Yale has an advantage in the number of companies they own. They have three forklift companies, as well as a parts company and two companies that make specialty attachments for their forklifts. This offers a huge range of products, allowing more clients to find exactly what they need.
  • They are the #3 leading global lift truck brand, by revenue.
  • They are also experiencing great growth potential in Eastern Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and China.


  • According to Toyota, some industries that commonly use forklifts are retail, food and beverage, freight, and construction.
  • Globe Newswire corroborates the retail and food and beverage industries in their market report.


  • According to Toyota, pallet jacks and electric forklifts are the most used forklifts for the retail industry.
  • Electric forklifts are ideal for retail settings because they do not emit fumes, are less noisy, and have greater maneuverability.
  • Pallet jacks, or walkies, are often used in retail because they are small and easy to maneuver, and because retail doesn't often need to lift overly heavy loads or take them long-distance.
  • Pallet jacks are small enough to be used out on the retail floor.

Food & Beverage

  • Order pickers are commonly used in the food and beverage industry because they increase productivity.
  • According to Toyota, the three most commonly used types of forklifts used in food and beverage are electric forklifts, reach trucks, and pallet jacks.
  • Reach trucks are used in food and beverage warehouses because they can fit in narrow aisles and still reach shelves up to 30 feet high.


  • Forklifts are commonly used in the freight industry to load and unload flatbed trailers or trailers that do not have lift gates to lower loads to the ground.
  • Toyota's most popular forklift styles for the freight industry are pneumatic and electric forklifts.


  • Rough terrain forklifts are commonly used on outdoor construction sites for traction.
  • Three and four-wheel lift trucks are common in the construction industry.
  • Telehandlers are used in the construction industry to move materials to high places using its crane feature.
  • Side loaders are often used to unload and move bulky objects in construction such as pipes and lumber.


Electric Forklifts

  • Gas forklifts were previously the most common type of forklift. That is changing as electric forklifts are becoming more commonplace due to the need to reduce greenhouse emissions.
  • Electric forklifts are also more affordable as batteries and motors are becoming cheaper to produce.
  • According to Mordor Intelligence, electric forklifts now hold the largest share of the forklift industry.
  • Governments are supporting the growth of electric forklifts because they are much more energy and cost-efficient.
  • Some industries that are largely switching to electric forklifts include paper goods, lumber, and iron and steel.

Automated Forklifts

  • Artificial Intelligence is being used to design automated forklifts that can operate without a human.
  • It has been easier to develop safe automated forklifts than it has automated cars because forklifts work in a smaller, predictable environment.
  • One report claims that a single automated forklift can save $150,000 per year in operating costs.
  • Automated forklifts are also growing in popularity because the unemployment rate is growing, leaving warehouses short on people to operate their equipment.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered Forklifts

  • Many manufacturers have begun integrating hydrogen fuel cells into their forklifts as an alternative, sustainable power source.
  • Hydrogen fuel cell batteries can be replaced in less than three minutes, which is much shorter than the typical lead acid battery time of 20 minutes.
  • There are currently more than 25,000 hydrogen powered forklifts in North America.
  • Manufacturers have stated that there are virtually no obstacles to converting most forklift styles to hydrogen batteries.

Research Strategy

To provide trends in the US forklift industry, we scoured industry reports, manufacturer websites, and industry publications to find trends that were mentioned by multiple sources.