Forklifts are critical and necessary in factories, warehouses, and distribution centers. The movement of goods requires significant labor from workers and worker-operated vehicles like forklifts and pallet stackers.
As labor markets tighten, solutions to help reduce the dependency on manual work will be critical. One solutions? Autonomous forklifts. These devices are gaining newfound traction due to their high payloads, lift capability, and flexibility.
Many businesses are just now realizing the full potential of autonomous forklifts. The room for scaling these solutions is enormous as current forklift vendors have just begun introducing automation to their fleets.
The existing manual forklift market is vast, with over 800,000 forklifts sold in 2019. However, the forklift market is less than one percent automated. This means the opportunity for automated forklifts could be worth billions of dollars if automation companies can scale their offerings.
Looking at the current trends, we can expect by 2030 that the automation penetration rate could extend to 30 percent. The present forces restricting the growth of the autonomous forklift market are on the supply side, emphasizing additional maintenance costs, autonomy expectations, integrating with IT and OT infrastructure, and employee training.