Feature / 07 Jul 2024

Electrification at the heart of sustainable warehousing

GAC UK switches to 100% electric forklifts

The warehouse of the future will be run on sustainably-sourced electricity – and forward-thinking operators are already making the switch.

According to a Yahoo! Finance report entitled “Global Forklifts Market Trends and Outlook 2023-2030”, current strong demand for electric forklifts is projected to grow to a substantial market worth $62.9 billion by 2030.

To electrify or not to electrify?
Setting ambitious targets for full electrification does mean high upfront costs, operational adjustments, retraining, possible process changes and the challenge of ensuring reliable access to renewable energy.

The benefits, however, outweigh such concerns. Replacing diesel- and gas-powered equipment and equipment with their electric-powered equivalent is a cornerstone of sustainable warehousing, offering a myriad of benefits that extend beyond environmental stewardship.

Not only does the transition reduce emissions and improve air quality in warehouses, they also require less maintenance and have lower operational costs compared to traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) counterparts. And that increased reliability and reduced downtime bring down costs.

At GAC UK, they have completed the rollout of electric forklifts at all their warehouses.

It’s a step in the journey to greater electrification they have embarked on, in line with the GAC Group's roadmap to sustainability. Following the successful completion of trials, the company’s facilities at Heathrow, Aberdeen and Great Yarmouth are now exclusively run with electric-powered equipment.

It is part of GAC UK's commitment to implement sustainable practices – including reducing emissions – encompassed by MARS30, a ten-year initiative launched in 2021 that sets ambitious goals for a greener and more efficient future.

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Reflecting a commitment to “Measure, Action and Review for Success”, MARS30 enpowers staff to share ideas, opinions, and personal successes to achieve greater sustainability.


The strategy positions GAC UK for long-term success by enhancing operational efficiency, reducing costs, and meeting the growing demand for environmentally responsible practices.

“We recognise our responsibility to operate sustainably despite the challenges and we are committed to transforming the way we work to eventually hit net zero,” says Laura Grizzell, GAC UK’s QHSSE Manager.

Laura Grizzell

“Electrification offers many benefits - both for the environment and the bottom line.

“Lower operating costs, more predictable budgets, increased fleet management efficiencies, and adherence to emissions standards make a strong business case for industrial electrification.”

Local and global
Other companies in the GAC world are following suit, including Denmark where they have initiated programmes to transform their vehicle fleet to electric power.

In the Middle East, GAC Qatar’s temperature-controlled warehouses have been equipped with electric forklifts since 2010. GAC Dubai’s Contract Logistics has approximately 120 items of electrically-powered material handling equipment including forklifts, order pickers and side loaders.

In Asia, GAC Thailand uses 100% electric forklift and reach trucks, and GAC Singapore is also rolling out an electric forklift programme.

Such changes reflect the GAC promise to ‘adapt, innovate and reduce’ in its activities to serve its customers around the worldwide and work towards a sustainable future. That promise to work for a better tomorrow is integral to who we are and how we help our customers deliver their strategy.

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