The Global Autonomous Forklift Market size is expected to reach $9.5 billion by 2029, rising at a market growth of 13.0% CAGR during the forecast period.
Autonomous forklifts refer to self-propelled forklifts that are capable of lifting goods without the need for human intervention. The management of storage facilities can be performed on an individual basis. The implementation of this technology results in the elimination of human labor for the management of warehouses. Integrating automated forklifts in warehouse operations provides a convenient solution for managing defects that may arise due to human intervention. The escalating expansion of the logistics as well as construction sectors has resulted in a surge in the requirement for self-governing apparatus. The increasing demand for automated forklifts is driven by the need to handle heavy loads in supply chains and material handling.
The efficiency of forklift trucks has been enhanced by technological advancements. Implementing automated forklifts has proven to be a valuable asset in enhancing intralogistics procedures. The implemented system guarantees the accurate placement of the appropriate component at the designated location within the specified timeframe. The technology facilitates the prevention of potential hazards for drivers by computing the most secure maneuver in challenging circumstances.
The primary requirement for a forklift to be autonomous is for the system to execute autonomous navigation, also known as natural navigation. Implementing natural navigation technology eliminates the need for any infrastructure or hardware, such as reflectors or magnetic tapes, to facilitate the localization and navigation of forklifts. The autonomous technology umbrella encompasses several technologies, including Ultra-Wide Band (UWB), Vision Guided Vehicles (VSG), and LiDAR sensor-based contour navigation vehicles. The second requirement for autonomy is the ability to independently determine various guide paths and incorporate obstacle avoidance capabilities.
COVID-19 Impact Analysis
Due to the execution of worldwide lockdowns that caused a temporary closure of manufacturing plants, the COVID-19 pandemic had a detrimental effect on the development of the autonomous forklift market. Since eliminating human touch lowered the risk of COVID-19 exposure, many manufacturers attempted to automate material handling activities. Therefore, autonomous forklifts became an option for manufacturing operations with small footprints, which was possible because of COVID-19. However, e-commerce order volumes surged significantly in comparison to 2019. This increased demand for autonomous forklifts.
Market Growth Factor
A rise in the need for material handling equipment and warehouses
Automation driven by autonomous forklifts is popular because of its minimal infrastructure needs. Autonomous forklifts with detecting sensors may significantly boost retail facilities’ operational effectiveness. The cost of labor, employee turnover, and low labor productivity make up most of the warehouse’s overall budget. In addition, rising rents and supply chain disruptions contribute to the warehouse automation trend’s growth. During product manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution, autonomous forklifts were used in warehouses for storage and material handling. Warehouses demand flexible and affordable material handling solutions because of the expanding complexity of manufacturing and warehousing operations and the growing concern for worker and customer safety. Therefore, all these elements will lead to the market’s growth throughout the forecast.
Optimizing client efficiency with modular solutions
Forklifts are intended for use in a variety of material-handling tasks. However, the needs of every customer are unique. Customers who use their forklifts as well as own them, for instance, demand a cabin that is more roomy and opulent. A more traditional steering system is needed for clients who steer more during operations. However, it is not practical to mass-produce forklifts with such specialized needs. As a result, autonomous forklifts are gaining more popularity. With autonomous forklifts, customers can be provided with modular solutions tailored to their needs to maximize productivity as a way to get around this.
Market Restraining Factor
High switching and integration costs along with technical challenges
The initial expenditure for an autonomous forklift is substantial. To operate this machinery, qualified personnel are required. In addition, companies typically pay high continuing costs for repairing and updating various subsystems. It might be difficult for small and medium-sized firms to make such significant investments. Autonomous forklifts have the highest initial costs among automated material handling technologies. The one-stop solution saves time and money by eliminating the need to analyse various components separately. Furthermore, the cost of installation is somewhat reduced as a result of the money saved on verifying the system’s compatibility. A small number of autonomous forklifts are deployed in different industries at the moment because of their poor cost-benefit ratio.
Type Outlook
On the basis of type, the autonomous forklift market is bifurcated into pallet jacks and pallet stackers. The pallet jacks segment procured the largest revenue share in the autonomous forklift market in 2022. Most of the market is occupied by automated pallet jacks, which are simple to install, don’t require any extra infrastructure modifications, and can be seamlessly integrated into the regular warehouse process. Floor-to-floor applications are where these automatic pallet jacks are most frequently used.
Application Outlook
On the basis of application, the autonomous forklift market is classified into manufacturing, warehousing, material handling, logistics & freight, and others. The manufacturing segment recorded a significant revenue share in the autonomous forklift market in 2022. The segment is growing because of the expanding manufacturing sector. Manufacturing plants use forklifts to move these commodities while considering workplace productivity and employee wellness.
Navigation Technology Outlook
By navigation technology, the autonomous forklift market is divided into laser guidance, magnetic & inductive guidance, vision guidance, optical tape guidance, SLAM, and others. The vision guidance segment witnessed the maximum revenue share in the autonomous forklift market in 2022. Vision-guided autonomous forklifts use cameras and sensors to detect their surroundings, allowing for more accurate navigation and path planning. This can help reduce the risk of collisions and damage to materials and equipment.
Tonnage Capacity Outlook
Based on tonnage capacity, the autonomous forklift market is characterized into below 5 tons, 5-10 tons, and above 10 tons. The above 10 tons segment procured a considerable growth rate in the autonomous forklift market in 2022. The above 10 tons capacity forklifts are usually Class 5 of autonomous forklift classification. Pneumatic tires on Class 5 forklifts allow them to lift very big loads weighing anything up to more than 25 tons. They can be used indoors or outdoors and are fueled by liquid propane, natural gas, or gasoline.
Operation Type Outlook
On the basis of operation type, the autonomous forklift market is categorized into indoor and outdoor. The indoor segment acquired largest revenue share in the autonomous forklift market in 2022. In distribution centers, warehouses, and other indoor locations utilized for material storage, autonomous forklifts used for pallet moving indoors are called indoor autonomous forklifts. Because indoor forklifts have a lower turning radius, they can be used to move even within smaller facilities.
Propulsion Type Outlook
Based on propulsion type, the autonomous forklift market is fragmented into electric and ICE & others. The electrification of the items is essential for the industrial automation industry’s future. The adoption of machinery with electric power is quickly increasing across all geographies due to advantages including reduced emissions, fewer operation expenses, and ease of movement. Growing electric infrastructure, supportive government regulations, and straightforward integration with automotive software and hardware technologies are some of the key factors influencing the growth of electric propulsion autonomous forklifts during the projected period.
Vertical Outlook
Based on vertical, the autonomous forklift market is segmented into 3PL, food & beverages, automotive & aviation, paper & pulp, retail & e-commerce, semiconductors & electronics, healthcare, and others. The retail and e-commerce segment recorded a substantial revenue share in the autonomous forklift market in 2022. The e-commerce industry’s need for automated fulfillment centers has grown due to the quickly changing client needs, increasing popularity of online shopping, rising demand for shorter shipping times, and escalating competition among e-commerce organizations.
Regional Outlook
Region wise, the autonomous forklift market is analysed across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and LAMEA. The Asia Pacific segment witnessed the maximum revenue share in the autonomous forklift market in 2022. The growth is a result of China and India’s expanding usage. In contrast, it is projected that other countries in the region, such as Japan and South Korea, would raise their share by updating and changing their existing automated material handling machinery. In addition, many International autonomous forklift OEMs are also relocating their businesses to this region. Due to the increased number of local companies brought about by the technology transfer and the anticipated reduction in adoption costs, the region is predicted to grow its share throughout the forecast period.
The major strategies followed by the market participants are Product Launches. Based on the Analysis presented in the Cardinal matrix; Toyota Industries Corporation is the forerunner in the Autonomous Forklift Market. Companies such as Mitsubishi Logisnext Co., Ltd., Jungheinrich AG, and Hyundai Construction Equipment Co., Ltd. (Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.) are some of the key innovators in Autonomous Forklift Market.
The market research report covers the analysis of key stakeholders of the market. Key companies profiled in the report include Mitsubishi Logisnext Co., Ltd., Toyota Industries Corporation, Oceaneering International, Inc., Kuka AG (Swisslog Holding AG), Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc., Hyundai Construction Equipment Co., Ltd. (Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.), Jungheinrich AG, Balyo, KION GROUP AG and AGILOX Services GmbH
Recent Strategies Deployed in Autonomous Forklift Market
Product Launches and Expansions:
Mar-2023: Mitsubishi Logisnext Americas group released its new Jungheinich EKX 516ka / 516a Automated High-Rack Stacker. The product launched by the company comes with 24/7 operation, a fully automatic mechanism, full-pallet storage, and a retrieval system, which would help in attaining maximum productivity and efficiency.
Sep-2022: Toyota Material Handling Japan ("TMHJ"), a division of Toyota Industries Corporation introduced an autonomous lift truck. This truck launched by the company generates automated travel routes & automatically recognizes the location and position of trucks and loads using AI technology. It also comes with pallet location, position detection technology & guideless automated driving using 3D-LiDAR*3 technology.
May-2022: Toyota Material Handing UK released Traigo24, a three-wheel electric forklift truck. Traigo24 comes with a compact design, 24-volt electric capacity, energy-efficient lithium ion, and great ergonomics which makes it easy to be used in confined areas and narrow aisles for stacking with high capacity and efficiency.
Nov-2021: Hyundai CE released its Next-Gen Electric Forklift named 2.5-ton B-X electric forklift. The product is the company’s first medium-sized forklift developed indigenously in Korea itself. B-X electric forklift consists of a lithium-iron-phosphate battery and is most appropriate for indoor warehouses.
Partnerships, Collaborations, and Agreements:
Sep-2022: Mitsubishi Logisnext Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. teamed up with xSQUARE, a provider of intelligent warehousing solutions based in Singapore. This collaboration would help the customers of Mitsubishi Logisnext Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. to manage high order volumes in an efficient and easy manner.
May-2021: Mitsubishi Logisnext Americas entered into a partnership with Phantom Auto, a company that offers interoperable remote operation software. This partnership would assist the logical operators to reduce downtime and unlock multi-site efficiencies along with improving their safety and health.
Mergers and Acquisitions:
Nov-2021: Jungheinrich AG took over Arculus GmbH, an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) developer which manufactures AMR and its management software along with mobile automation solutions, etc, based out of Munich. This partnership would help Jungheinrich AG to add software and hardware solutions in its AMR sector, particularly in its automation systems portfolio.
Scope of the Study
Market Segments covered in the Report:
By Type

    • Pallet Jacks
    • Pallet Stackers

By Application

  • • Material Handling
    • Warehousing
    • Logistics & Freight
    • Manufacturing
    • Others

By Navigation Technology

  • • Vision Guidance
    • Laser Guidance
    • Magnetic & Inductive Guidance
    • Optical Tape Guidance
    • SLAM & Others

By Tonnage Capacity

  • • Below 5 Tons
    • 5-10 Tons
    • Above 10 Tons

By Operation Type

  • • Indoor
    • Outdoor

By Propulsion Type

  • • Electric
    • ICE & Others

By Vertical

  • • Food & Beverages
    • 3PL
    • Healthcare
    • Automotive & Aviation
    • Retail & Ecommerce
    • Paper & Pulp
    • Electronics & Semiconductors
    • Others

By Geography

  • • North America

o US
o Canada
o Mexico
o Rest of North America

  • • Europe

o Germany
o UK
o France
o Russia
o Spain
o Italy
o Rest of Europe

  • • Asia Pacific

o China
o Japan
o India
o South Korea
o Singapore
o Malaysia
o Rest of Asia Pacific

  • • LAMEA

o Brazil
o Argentina
o Saudi Arabia
o South Africa
o Nigeria
o Rest of LAMEA
Companies Profiled

  • • Mitsubishi Logisnext Co., Ltd.
    • Toyota Industries Corporation
    • Oceaneering International, Inc.
    • Kuka AG (Swisslog Holding AG)
    • Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc.
    • Hyundai Construction Equipment Co., Ltd. (Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.)
    • Jungheinrich AG
    • Balyo
    • AGILOX Services GmbH

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