Ritchie Bros. reports surge in forklift sales

by Today's Trucking

Ritchie Bros. is reporting a surge in forklift sales, citing strong activity by online retailers as well as other trends in massive warehouses.

The auction house has sold more than 15,000 forklifts in the U.S. over the past three years, including more than 1,500 units sold for a collective US $10 million in the third quarter of this year alone.

“We’re at an interesting intersection with the used forklift market in the U.S.,” said Doug Olive, senior vice-president – pricing and appraisals.

Forklifts are fast-moving items during Ritchie Bros. auctions. (Photo: istock)

“When you look at rental companies, some of them ramped up their fleets—including forklifts—to keep up with growing demand in 2012, after the global recession. Now at seven to eight years old, those machines need to be replaced. But, this year with Covid, OEMs slowed or halted production altogether. Some were also impacted by disruptions in the supply chain.

“The increase in online shopping has also directly impacted the demand for forklifts. This juncture of supply and demand has contributed to recent stronger results in the used forklift market.”

The prices of lifting and material handling equipment are up about 2% year over year in Canada, Ritchie Bros. reports in the November Used Equipment Market Trends Summary.

Used heavy equipment prices in Canada were up 1% year over year, while the prices of truck tractors and vocational units remained steady.

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