Chinese robotic companies sold a total of 13,300 mobile forklifts in 2022, up 66.25% year on year, a domestic industry association revealed recently.
According to Mobile Robot and AGV/AMR Industry Alliance, the market size for mobile forklift in China reached 3.468 billion yuan (US$501 million), an increase of 41.55% over the previous year.
Mobile forklift comes in the shape of traditional forklift but is equipped with navigation modules, sensors and SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) algorithms to achieve autonomous obstacle detection and avoidance.
Falling under the category of AGV or AMR, mobile forklift has ridden the wave of growing demand from industrial clients and come to incorporate functions such as palletizing and automated material handling.
These new attributes have made the device a new darling for clients over the past year.
From manned forklift to driverless forklift, a number of AMR producers have been pushing the boundaries of application scenarios.
Some have reinvented the look of the vehicle, by mounting new features on it and introducing revolutionary designs.
In an immense market the size of China’s, mobile forklift has been a fast-growing category, expanding with each passing year.
Nevertheless, its proportion is still small relative to the whole market for AMR or AGV.
In the view of the alliance, innovations in appearance only barely have a decisive impact on where the market is headed.
Aside from giving the forklift a makeover, domestic manufacturers also set sights on something much lighter and smaller last year, the alliance explained.
These new generation of forklifts stand out for their flexibility, agility, operability, ease of delivery and cost-effectiveness, making them suited to tasks such as material handling within a plant or a warehouse.
The alliance concluded that AGV will become one of the most sought-after segments within industrial mobile robotics this year.
Given its current low penetration, the market room for growth will be huge.