A new report by the International Truck Association (ITA) and Oxford Economics explains how forklift manufacturing brings in billions of dollars and almost 210,000 jobs into the U.S. economy. Overall, the industrial truck and forklift industry contributed $25.7 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product in 2015. The industry also contributes to improving American services by paying $5.3 billion in taxes to local, state, and federal governments in 2015 alone. This massive industry has touched nearly every product sold in the United States at some point in its manufacturing or shipment.
Industrial truck manufacturers directly employ around 60,000 people in positions such as sales, manufacturing, and customer support. Each worker directly employed by the industry supports 2.5 additional jobs in other economic sections. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that over 540,000 people are employed as forklift operators nationwide. Manufacturing jobs offer higher wages than the median income in most states. The industrial truck and forklift manufacturing employs more veterans than any other industry, according to the ITA and Oxford study.
Without high-tech forklifts, warehousing giants such as Amazon would struggle to meet customers’ demands for fast shipping. An increase of two-day or overnight shipping orders means that Amazon needs organized warehouses and powerful forklifts that can keep inventory moving in and out. Food, furniture, transportation, and every other industry imaginable relies on forklifts and industrial trucks to meet customer demand.
The industrial forklift and truck manufacturing sector also provides $3.5 billion to trade, transportation, and utilities. Forklifts have been compared to the “workhorses” of America in recognition of their enormous contributions to the transportation industry. Industrial forklift and truck manufacturing also contributes $2.1 billion in business and professional services. This industry employs far more than just drivers– managers, HR representatives, agents, janitors, and many more careers are all links in the chain. The truck and forklift manufacturing industry also funds $1.1 billion in health and education services.
Forklifts power not just warehouses, but the entire world. Without the help of forklifts, anything from your morning cup of coffee, to your ride to work, to your dinner out would not be possible. At KION North America, we are committed to the continual improvement and advancement of the forklift industry. To learn more about our history and our mission, click here.