Forklift market slips after Brexit vote

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Orders for forklift trucks were ten per cent down in the second quarter of 2016, although the market remains at historically high levels, according to the British Industrial Truck Association.

BITA’s market index report, released at IMHX, said the market had been affected by political uncertainty result from the EU referendum. However, the manufacturing sector, the building industry and consumer spending were doing better than expected.

Counterbalance trucks accounted for 47.3 per cent of transactions so far in 2016, slightly down from the 48.8 per cent recorded in 2015. Warehouse pedestrian trucks were up from 33.4 per cent in 2015 to 33.8 per cent this year. And warehouse rider trucks were up from 16.8 per cent to 18 per cent.

The report said market growth in recent years has been particularly noticeable for electric counterbalance trucks, powered pallet trucks and for very narrow aisle models and less prominent for engine powered counterbalance trucks.

Manufacturing remains the largest single sector user of industrial trucks, accounting for about one third of the market. The report suggested that at a weaker currency was helping exporters and this could boost forklift sales.

In contrast, the retail distribution sector has seen a steady proportional decrease over the past five years. “Having accounted for 19 per cent of transactions in 2011, this has steadily fallen to 15.7 per cent for 2016 to date, and is consistent with the shift in consumer purchasing behaviours from the high street to online,” the report said.

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