25pc boost for forklift sales

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Members of the British Industrial Truck Association have reported sales of just over 24,000 units in the year to June, up 25 per cent from the same period last year.

Warehouse truck sales rose to 12,400 units bolstered by strong demand from retailers and 3PLs. Orders for low-level order pickers, the signature truck of the large warehouse, increased by two thirds over the last year.

Sales of counterbalance trucks reached almost 12,000 units in the same period. Of these, 36 per cent were diesel powered, 34 per cent electric and 30 per cent LPG.

David Miller, chair of BITA’s Statistics Committee, said: “Shifting business models within the retail sector have resulted in successes for bulk movers such as online shopping providers and daily goods businesses, including the UK’s leading supermarkets. This has been good news for industrial truck sales, as has the creation of new distribution centres in the UK.

“More positive growth for the UK manufacturing sector also led to a strong increase in demand for counterbalance trucks in the UK over the first six months of 2011. This has been supported by the return to the market of other business sectors with large counterbalance fleets, such as the supply chain to the construction industry, parcel delivery companies and drinks distributors.”

James Clark, secretary-general of BITA, said: Based on what we have seen from the first half of 2011, we have high expectations that by the end of 2011 the market will exceed our full-year prediction of 25,000 units sold.

“After 18 months of continuous recovery, the forklift market has now climbed halfway back to its pre-recession high of 32,000 unit orders per year.”

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