The second quarter of 2014 has seen an 18% quarter-on-quarter rise in fork lift trucks sales, with 7,851 sales recorded in Q2 2014 compared to 6,615 for the same quarter of 2013 – a total increase in sales of 1,236 trucks.
There has been a 6% rise in sales in Q2 2014 alone compared to Q1 of this year. The total orders placed for the first half of this year are 15,261 trucks compared to the 13,227 orders placed in the first half of 2013, an increase of 15% compared to the same period last year.
The figures are taken from BITA’s unique members-only database of industrial truck sales statistics, and outperformed the sales prediction contained in the BITA 2014 Economic Forecast presented at the organisation’s recent AGM.
They were driven by particularly strong warehouse sales, which showed a 31% increase from Q1 to Q2 2013 and an overall 15% increase compared to the first half of 2013. This reflects the prediction contained in the Forecast that continuing e-commerce development in the UK, which has the greatest e-commerce penetration rate in Europe, would have a positive effect on both transport and distribution sectors.
Further afield, according to World Industrial Truck Statistics (WITS) annual orders in the global industrial truck market exceeded one million units for the first time in 2013, with global shipments expected to exceed one million in 2014.
Commenting on the UK figures, BITA President David Rowell said: “If demand continues to grow at a similar rate for the rest of 2014 we could well be on target for sales of 30,000 for the year – almost back to the psychologically significant 32,000 figure recorded in 2007 before the economic downturn of 2008.”
These figures come despite a surprise fall in industrial production recorded by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) with falls of 1.3% in manufacturing and an estimated 1.1% fall in construction industry output.
“It is fair to say that we are now well into recovery, leaving behind us the economic doldrums of 2009 when industry orders dropped below 18,000. The anticipated return to near pre-recession demand levels has taken longer than originally forecast and is big news for the UK materials handling industry. Economic indicators elsewhere are less favourable, but after several years of cautious optimism we can now afford to be more optimistic,” concluded Rowell.