One of the world’s most innovative supply chain organizations believes the time is right for autonomous lift trucks—in the right application.
Peerless Media Group’s annual “Lift Truck Acquisition and Usage Study” finds that 63% of companies will be buying or leasing new lift trucks within the next two years.
In this issue, we learn that one of the world’s most innovative supply chain organizations believes the time is right for autonomous lift trucks; we offer our annual deep dive into the Top 20 lift truck suppliers; we roll out our annual reader survey that illustrates the state of lift truck usage and investment; and we learn that even an autonomous lift truck fleet is going to need some level of human oversight.
What a difference a year makes in lift truck sales. While the first hard months of the global pandemic in 2020 blunted demand for new trucks, during 2021, sales were back. Our annual list serves as a useful measuring stick for this year-over-year change, with overall revenue growth in 2021 for those on this year’s list topping 18%.
Several recent developments here include center-rider cabs, lithium-ion batteries and autonomous operating systems. But perhaps most important is improved operator confidence.
Operations are deploying autonomous lift trucks to offset pressures like rising order volumes and the inability to secure enough skilled operators. The ironic tinge here is that even though industry needs robots, it turns out the robots need people.
The supply chain is undoubtedly getting greener thanks to corporate commitment and the right technology.
Our editor sat down with Maya Xiao to discuss the current and future lift truck industry.
Some elements of training programs are a must, like the need for hands-on instruction, but lift truck OEMs are evolving training in areas like providing smaller chunks of classroom content and training people to support deployment of autonomous trucks.
Companies looking to use a Cloud-based unified approach to their marking and coding systems have options like never before.
For Duratrack, manufacturer of track and trolley systems, the right lift equipment eased the physical burdens of moving heavy loads in production areas, while other equipment helped with narrow-aisle storage and order picking.
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