Chetan Gole, CEO, Forklifts, ACE
The current market size of counter balanced forklifts in India is about 7000 units. We have seen a surge in demand post- Covid, due to realisation of mechanised handling to improve throughput and reduce dependence on labour. Modernisation of the logistic sector, spread of warehousing and logistic hubs across country, E-commerce and awareness of touchless handling are the main growth drivers of forklift and MHE demand. We presume at least 20% growth y-o-y in this segment.
Opportunities & Challenges
The pandemic has hurt the industry very badly; the entire supply chain has been disrupted and is still recovering. The second wave of the Covid further stalled and delayed the recovery, however, the government’s focus on infrastructure growth and development will drive the demand for basic raw materials like steel, cement, etc. and will bring the growth across industries.
The challenge is to set right our supply chain systems in order to meet the demand which is growing due to pent up requirements. This will also bring about development of new technologies, and many sectors and industry segments will strive to become ‘atmanirbhar’ by developing alternatives to imports and by augmenting their capacities to meet increased demand. So, we expect to see a lot of positive changes in the market in the coming times.
Shifting from Diesel to Electric Forklifts
Due to International drive and domestic commitment to green technology, the electrical forklift sector has seen a huge demand and resultant advancements in technology. Till now, due to technology constraints, only low capacity warehouse applications and in-house industry applications were using electrical forklifts.
New technology advancements allow use of electric forklifts for even heavy-duty applications, besides all-weather applications and even three shift continuous applications. The AC drive motor technology, Li-ion battery technology, fast charging technologies, waterproof components etc. have made the technology more versatile and user-friendly for varied applications, so much so that almost all diesel forklift applications can be replaced by electrical forklifts. So, the future is definitely electric forklifts.
Demand for Heavy Duty Forklifts
Currently, forklifts up to 3-ton capacity comprise a major 75% of the market; the 5-ton forklift truck comprises 5 to 7%, while the heavy- duty forklift trucks (more than 6 ton) comprise about 2% of the market. However, we are seeing the market move towards more heavy-duty forklifts, in particular, the 5-ton.
Increasing import/export, port activities, shipping and steel industries will bring about a demand for the heavy-duty forklift segment, though it will not be considerable in terms of number.
The Indian MHE industry is growing and its potential has attracted international players like Toyota, Hyundai, Jungheinrich, Kion (OM, Linde, Fenvik, Still), Doosan, Hyster and many Chinese leading companies are also trying to enter this segment.
ACE is 100% ‘swadeshi’ - an Indian grown company that fully understands customer behaviour and expectations. We have a network of 14 company-owned offices and more than 100 dealers across India. We are in close proximity to our customers so they can be assured of our services and support 24x7.
All our products are indigenously developed with the contemporary technology and are priced competitively. Our cranes have more than 65% market share. We are proud to be recognised as a most dependable company for construction equipment and material handling equipment in India.
"Serving the Nation"
ACE Material Handling Solutions
Our material handling range includes an elaborate range of Electric forklifts (1.5T-8T capacity), Li-ion forklifts (up to 3T capacity), Diesel forklifts (1.5T to 35T ), LPG forklifts (3T), Warehousing equipment (manual pallet trucks, stackers, battery powered pallet trucks, reach stackers & trucks, narrow aisle equipment, dock levelers, mobile dock ramps, aerial work platforms, etc.
We also offer specialised attachments on our forklifts for specific applications like paper rolls, bales, shovels, rams, drop bottom dumpers, rotators, and brick block handling attachments. We have an in-house design and engineering team to develop speciallised equipment/attachments for special applications. We will soon be launching our articulated forklifts for narrow aisle applications and Industrial cleaning equipment.
Different equipment requires different safety features. At ACE, we are committed to offer safe equipment, including safety for our operators and co-workers.
Safety features in our equipment include neutral position in transmission, flow control valve/hose burst valve, inching control pedal, operator presence system, reverse alarm, rotating beacon light, blue safety light, red zone operating light, anti-collision sensor, safe load indicator, reverse camera, fork position camera with operator display, speed control through programming, fault diagnostics in display etc.
India’s Rental Market
The rental market in India has been on a growth trajectory for the last couple of years and is set to grow further as most of the industry considers offloading their material handling to rental companies in order to control their manpower and capital requirements.
For many logistic companies having their base at different locations, it is easier for them to give material handling contracts to rental companies, as managing equipment fleet and manpower at remote locations is both impractical and difficult. Technology advancements like telematics has made the monitoring and control of remote fleet of equipment easier for organised rental companies.
Many national/international OEMs have also ventured into this business as deploying their own fleet and maintaining them through their well spread network is easier for them. International OEM companies are also pumping in their used/second-hand equipment brought in from European countries and the Middle East to further bring down rental costs.
Currently, our focus is on increasing penetration and adding the missing products in our portfolio. We are also focusing on exports.
Our tie-up with Doosan will help us gain additional market share in the premium segment. We are also looking at adding products for the warehousing segment. Our aim is to grow at 25% CAGR for the next 4-5 years.
We have recently tied up with Doosan, Korea as their distributor for their range of Material Handling Equipment in India. With their up-market range of products, we intend to take a good market share of Premium Equipment segment dominated by European, American, Japanese & other Korean manufacturers.