Logistics and Warehousing
11 May 2021 7 min


Last update 16 JUN 2023

Forklift tracking at warehouses using indoor positioning

Logistics and Warehousing
Navigine - Forklift tracking at warehouses using indoor positioning
11 May 2021 7 min


Last update 16 JUN 2023

Tracking asset movement and availability is an important part of any warehouse performance. Constant indoor forklift tracking can increase the company’s profit, reduce maintenance costs, increase staff safety, thus, more and more companies try to implement indoor positioning systems into their business. The forklift technology allows using the warehouse vehicles more effectively and reacting timely to any emergencies.

Statistics show that in 2021, the forklift tracking software market was valued at $51.6 billion. It’s projected that by 2031 its growth will accelerate, and the total volume will reach $103.9 billion. As of 2023, Navigine is on the list of key players in this market and provides businesses with effective tools for tracking equipment in warehouses.

How the forklift tracking system works

Forklifts can be tracked in real time. A special tag is placed on each asset, which transmits radio signals to readers. Then, the receivers send the data to the server, where it’s being processed to determine the location of the equipment. Depending on the model, the tag can operate both from its built-in battery and the forklift battery.

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Warehouse Forklift Tracking AoA Kit

Technologies for tracking forklifts

Various technologies are applied for monitoring equipment and warehouse assets. The most common ones are RFID, Bluetooth®, and UWB.


RFID is a wireless communication system that identifies objects using radio waves. The technology is based on special tags (transponders) that are placed on forklifts, containers and defined by the reader. The distinctive feature of the technology is the possibility to track assets in a short-range (as a rule, up to 1 m) – thus, the tracking system becomes an optimal solution in warehouse management.

The operating principle of the given tool is based on unique tags that can be transmitted to the RFID reader. The main advantages of the technology are its affordable cost of tags and ease of servicing. As a rule, passive battery-free tags that do not require recharging are used for forklift monitoring systems.

If necessary, the possibilities of RFID can be expanded by installing detectors. Placing such devices on forklifts makes it possible to track them using the centralized management system.


Bluetooth®, with its low energy consumption, is one of the most popular technologies for logistics and warehouse management. In comparison with classical Bluetooth®, the system keeps a similar range of communication but is intended for low-power devices. Just like RFID, Bluetooth® Low Energy tags and beacons are used for forklift location tracking. They combine high positioning accuracy and a long signal transmission range (about 330 ft). Bluetooth® Low Energy receivers, gateways, or antennas work effectively with these sensors to deliver data at speeds up to 300 Mbps.

The Bluetooth® LE operating principle is quite simple – the tags, installed around the perimeter of the building, send signals at certain intervals. As soon as the forklift enters the tag zone, the tags define its location and send data to the reader. The peculiarity is the possibility of forklift tracking using a smartphone via a mobile application. The main advantages of the system include:

  • low installation costs;
  • the long service life of the tag battery (on average from 2 to 8 years);
  • simple and flexible implementation into the warehouse infrastructure;
  • energy efficiency.


UWB (Ultra Wideband technology) is a popular indoor positioning technology functioning due to an ultra-wide bandwidth. It is mainly used when high accuracy positioning in warehouses is required. While using UWB, the accuracy is less than 30 сm, which is significantly higher than with beacons. The identification is carried out by sending short impulses that can be single or in the form of millions of low-power signals.

UWB tags can be used to deploy a platform based on ultra-wideband technology, which can identify objects with an accuracy of up to 12 inches. The forklift location tracking tags are easy to set up and can last an average of 3-5 years on a single battery. UWB antennas are used as a reader of signals from tags.

In comparison with Bluetooth® LE, installing UWB tags requires higher costs so the system is usually applied when only a few assets are necessary to track. The forklift monitoring system makes it possible to define the location of forklifts, get information on their movement, and direct them in conditions of poor visibility. Moreover, the technology analyzes the distance traveled, which allows optimizing the routes around the warehouse.

Advantages of forklift tracking and monitoring systems

The modern forklift tracking system ensures a wide range of advantages for companies:

  • Increasing the productivity of warehouses’ staff. With a forklift tracking system, you can obtain information about the location of each piece of equipment, and reduce the time it takes to find it inside the warehouse.
  • Improved management of warehouse operations. Understanding the movement and use of forklifts allows you to reduce costs and optimize business processes in the warehouse.
  • Reducing maintenance costs. By optimizing forklift routes, you can reduce downtime and the cost of scheduled maintenance work.
  • Improving inventory accuracy. The forklift tracking system, depending on the technology used, can provide location accuracy of up to 4-12 inches, which allows workers to always know the location of vehicles and control their movement.
  • Optimizing routes. Efficient paths help reduce the amount of equipment used and labor costs.
  • Controlling potentially dangerous situations. Introducing tracking systems eliminates collisions of equipment with other forklifts and with staff.

Learn more about pallet tracking software.

Navigine develops indoor navigation systems and offers forklift tracking solutions in warehouse. We are ready to provide precise positioning tools that will increase business process efficiency in your company.

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