Forklifts are a type of industrial loading and unloading equipment, which refers to various wheeled vehicles used to load and unload pallet products. It is widely used in ports, stations, airports, factory workshops, warehouses and other fields. It is the basic equipment for pallet and container transportation.
In recent years, the global economy has developed well as a whole, with obvious structural characteristics of economic integration, and sales of industrial vehicles have maintained steady growth. However, the public health emergency in 2020 will bring a big blow to the global economy, and the demand for industrial vehicles will decrease simultaneously. Under the unified command, efficient operation, rapid response, and scientific tracking of the Party Central Committee, the country has taken the lead in controlling the epidemic and providing important prerequisites for the economy to return to the right track. The manufacturing and logistics industries have quickly recovered, and the demand for the forklift market has quickly rebounded. Data show that China's cumulative sales of forklifts from January to November 2020 reached 726,000, an increase of 19.4% over the same period in 2019.
In the downstream application structure of forklifts, the transportation industry accounts for the highest proportion at 21%, which is an important source of power for the growth of the forklift industry. The second largest demand area is electrical machinery, accounting for 12%. In general, forklifts cover a wide range and have relatively stable market demand.
The General Trend of Forklift Electrification
According to the way of energy consumption, forklifts can be divided into internal combustion forklifts and electric forklifts, both of which have their own characteristics. Specifically, internal combustion forklift parts are cheap and easy to buy. Diesel engines are more reliable and have sufficient power. However, the cost of diesel is high, and smoke and dust emissions are likely to cause environmental pollution. At present, the price of electric forklifts is about twice that of internal combustion engine forklifts, but its noise is low and it meets environmental protection requirements.
Judging from the sales structure of domestic forklifts over the years, the sales of electric forklifts have continued to grow, and their proportion has continued to rise, from 36.7% in 2015 to 50.3% in 2020. However, the sales of electric forklifts in developed countries accounted for 60%, so there is still a lot of room for the development of domestic electric forklifts. It is expected that the proportion of electric forklifts in China will continue to increase.
Under the general trend of green environmental protection and intelligent manufacturing, the forklift industry is expected to continue to develop on the road of electrification to meet increasingly stringent environmental protection requirements, and more importantly, to catch the trendy shuttle bus of electrification and interconnection of all things. Electric forklifts have the advantages of low pollution and low noise, and have a huge market space in the storage, wholesale and retail, food and medical industries. In addition, the Chinese government has successively promulgated laws and regulations related to environmental protection to promote the implementation of energy-saving and emission-reduction policies. With the increase in demand for electric environmentally friendly forklifts in remote areas and the guidance and support of national environmental protection policies, the structure of China's forklift industry is gradually changing, the demand for electric forklifts continues to grow, and the proportion of electric forklift products will continue to increase.
The Development of the Logistics Industry Has Driven the Demand for the Forklift Market
As an indispensable engineering vehicle in material handling equipment, forklifts are an important tool in the logistics industry. The total amount of China's social logistics is steadily increasing, and the demand for the warehousing industry is also increasing. In recent years, China's warehousing index has been maintained at a relatively high level, and the market is booming. The increase in gross national product, the optimization and adjustment of the economic structure, and the improvement of people's living standards have all stimulated the volume of logistics business.
In 2020, affected by global public health events, countries will be affected to varying degrees, where China has achieved major results in epidemic prevention and control. The economy has gradually recovered and the logistics business has gradually returned to normal. In June last year, the total volume of domestic social logistics returned to the level of the same period in 2019. From January to November 2020, China's social logistics totaled 266.2 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 3%. Logistics demand has recovered, market vitality has further strengthened, and business revenue growth has accelerated. In general, the domestic logistics industry is generally stable and improving. As a mechanical equipment to improve the efficiency of logistics handling, forklifts will surely bring broad demand for the development of the forklift industry with the development of the logistics industry.
Overseas Demand Drives the Growth of China's Forklift Exports
Due to the continuous improvement of the domestic forklift product structure and the high added value of its products, it has been widely accepted and recognized by the international market. Domestic forklift companies represented by Anhui Heli and Hangcha Group have successfully integrated into the global forklift supply system and have improved their position in the international market. Among them, Anhui Heli's products have passed the EC type inspection, which provides a prerequisite for smoothly entering the European market; Hangcha Group has established a cooperative relationship with the international logistics express giant UPS, and is expanding the coverage of domestic forklifts. The advantages of Chinese forklift products in the international market are emerging.
Public data shows that in the past five years, China's electric forklift exports have increased from 66,000 units in 2014 to 237,000 units in 2020, and the number of forklift exports has increased year by year.
The wave of global intelligence is unstoppable. Standing at the crossroads of unprecedented changes in a century, China has unswervingly accelerated the pace of independent innovation, and has successively proposed policy programs such as "Made in China 2025" and "Industry 4.0". China's forklift industry is developing in the direction of intelligence and environmental protection.
The forklift industry has a history of more than 100 years. In the early stage of the industry's development, automobile and mechanical equipment manufacturers from different countries entered the game one after another to explore. As the industry continues to mature, leading companies rely on resource advantages to actively integrate and expand to consolidate their leading positions, leading to an oligopolistic competition in the forklift industry in some countries.
From the perspective of the domestic forklift industry pattern, the overall competition pattern is relatively stable, and the market distribution is relatively concentrated. The top two companies in the industry account for 45% of the domestic forklift market, and even in the electric forklift market, the combined market share of the two reaches 75%. However, the unit price of China's forklift trucks is relatively low, and the downstream market has not yet been fully developed. It is expected that the forklift market in China continues to increase, and Chinese forklift companies still have a lot of room for growth.
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