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How online deliveries have affected the forklift truck industry

Online shopping has become a financial juggernaut in recent years, with corporations like Amazon taking record-breaking profits annually. The coronavirus pandemic undoubtedly played a part in this – many people looked to retail therapy to cope with lockdowns, and entire sectors went online. Studies suggest that, by 2040, nearly 95% of all retail will be via e-commerce. Warehouses and distribution centres naturally make up a significant part of this intense shift – their demand will only increase in years to come. This means a far greater need for warehouse equipment, plus goods handling and transportation. Forklifts can accommodate this need, being instrumental in the e-commerce process. With that in mind, here are a few ways that the global surge in online shopping has impacted the forklift industry.

1. The domino effect of demand

Simply put, if more people are buying goods, there is a greater need for the efficient transportation of those goods. The massive increase of online shopping over the past few years has also created the need for more warehouse space, with the United Kingdom alone requiring 14% more warehouse space by 2025. This will translate to approximately 60 million square feet - and will naturally lead to the construction of whole new warehouses alongside the expansion of those that already exist. Expanding warehouses will require more forklifts and drivers to accommodate this expansion, while new warehouses will need a fleet of forklifts. On top of this, customers demand efficiency; it’s easy to forget that e-commerce exists as an alternative to a system where people can enter a shop and (in a matter of minutes) leave with the goods they need.

2. The role of Amazon

Amazon forms a quarter of the UK’s online spending, and part of what makes the company so successful is how it consistently offers quick deliveries. Forklifts can provide the necessary efficiency to achieve this, being a vital link in the chain of rapid delivery by moving goods promptly. In a way, we can credit Amazon for a significant amount of the demand surrounding forklifts; according to the employment website Indeed, forklift driver job postings have radically increased over the past eight years.

3. Advancements in forklift technology

With forklifts being a long-trusted staple of goods transportation, people have improved them over the years. Once more, efficiency is paramount to a robust delivery system, and this importance has only grown over time – this means that forklifts must do whatever they can to keep pace with the increased expectations. Compounding this is companies offering next-day or same-day delivery more and more, so once again, there is a lot of pressure for forklifts to do the best job possible. With climate change being more of an issue by the day, people are starting to favour energy- efficient forklifts – ones that use electricity can last longer than their diesel counterparts while being better for the planet. Some forklifts also use a counterbalance weight to carry a heavier load and better navigate spaces. There are many ways forklift advances can help an operation; with their use increasing thanks to online deliveries, it is a matter of time before further innovation. Almost every product that a person buys online will have come into contact with a forklift before arriving at their home. This shows just how important they are – as warehouses grow, they will need continuous fleets of modern forklifts to meet their targets and needs. Budget Forktrucks specialises in providing forklifts across the South of England, with a fleet of over 450 trucks and flexible hires. For more information, get in touch today.

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