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COVID-19 Impact on the Global Crane and Hoist Market

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In 2020, COVID-19 had a negative effect on the crane and hoist market, resulting in decreased shipments of cranes and hoists and the revenues generated from them. As a result, a drop was witnessed in the growth trend of the market during the first half of 2020. This trend is expected to discontinue in the latter half of the year as the demand is expected to increase due to the growing demand from construction and shipping and material handling industry.

The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially impacted the value chain of the crane and hoist market. The US, China, India, and Japan, which have been adversely affected by the pandemic, account for a significant share of the global crane and hoist manufacturing. The automotive & railway and aerospace & defense industries are witnessing a low demand, which is expected to continue for the short term due to the global slowdown.

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Market Dynamics

Driver: Significant demand from construction industry

The construction industry is expanding and becoming complex day by day. The large projects related to infrastructure development are becoming challenging. According to the Texas Workforce Commission (US), the construction industry is estimated to register a CAGR of 27.8 % from 2014 to 2024 in the US. Besides the industry is witnessing healthy growth in APAC and Europe attributed to the increasing infrastructure-related spending. Rising urbanization in China, India, the US, the UK, Indonesia, and the Philippines has accelerated infrastructure investments and consequently the demand for related equipment and devices. Furthermore, with the introduction of new development plans and the setting up of projects, the use of construction equipment is growing at a significant rate. In the construction industry, tower cranes and mobile cranes are used on a large scale. The use of tower cranes facilitates in lifting and moving of raw material and objects in the construction of medium- to high-rise buildings. Additionally, mobile cranes are also required on the ground level for the movement of heavy building materials such as cement sacks, bricks, and iron beams. Based on the applied fundamental mechanics and equipped with cables and hoists, they can lift heavy loads well beyond the capacity of a human. Thus, the advantages associated with the use of cranes have increased their demand in the construction industry.

Restraint: High cost of manufacturing and maintenance

The manufacturing of cranes requires metal forging and precise engineering to develop a final product of high quality. Cranes are the combination of a number of components, including hoists, trolley, bridge, columns, and runway. There are cost barriers for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to enter the crane and hoist market. Besides the initial manufacturing cost of cranes, they also incur maintenance costs over a period of time. There are a number of factors that need to be checked on a regular basis to ensure the smooth functioning of the equipment. These factors include checking of emergency safety switches and interlocks including limiting and indicating devices; lubrication of moving parts; accuracy of load moment indicator (LMI) and rated capacity indicator (RCI) devices with a test lift using a certified test weight; filter and fluid levels and leaks; wear of wheels and tires; signage including warning signs and control markings; and visual inspection and measurements as necessary of structural components and critical parts, including brakes, gears, fasteners, pins, shafts, wire ropes, sheaves, locking devices and electrical contractors.

Opportunity: Large intralogistics center in South-East Asia

The expanding e-commerce industry in South-East Asia is fueling the growth of the warehousing and intralogistics market in the region. The economy of Southeast Asia is growing and is experiencing a sturdy increase in its middle-class population. The region comprises 11 country-level markets at different stages of development; thus, it is quickly becoming an economic center. Based on the data gathered from the International Monetary Fund, the combined GDP of all ASEAN countries is predicted to be USD 4.37 trillion by 2024. The high economic growth of South-East Asia is fueling the growth of the e-commerce and retail markets. Third-party logistics service providers dominate the logistics sector of South-East Asia. With the overall economic growth in this region, 3PL companies are investing in the manufacturing of cranes to meet the demands in docks and warehouses. Thus, the increasing demand in the intralogistics sector of South-East Asia is acting as an opportunity for the players in the crane and hoist market

Challenge: Unavailability of skilled workforce to handle crane operations due to COVID-19

Cranes are large and complex systems, requiring mounting components and harness cables. These systems have to be commissioned with great accuracy right from the phase of installation. A slight miscalculation or inaccuracy may halt the entire production process or lead to devastating accidents. To maintain accuracy, an operator needs to be technically sound with regard to the operation of cranes. Besides installation, cranes and hoists need a technical expert to address any errors, which adds to the cost. Further, with continuously advancing technologies and growing automation, cranes and hoists require software upgrades. This requires periodic workforce training for the efficient handling of the updated systems. Due to the onset of COVID-19, governments have restricted the number of employees that can work in various facilities. This has led to the unavailability of a workforce to perform quality control, inspections, and maintenance operations. As cranes and hoists require technically sound experts to be operated, the current situation has hampered the smooth functioning of these systems.

Mobile cranes segment is projected to register the highest CAGR from 2021 to 2026

The growth of the mobile cranes segment is majorly driven by their features such as high mobility, high traveling speed, and requirement of less time to set them up on construction sites. The use of mobile cranes in the mining, construction, aerospace, shipping & material handling industries has gained popularity, where lifting and lowering activities require extensive displacements of objects, materials, or equipment.

Hybrid operations segment is projected to register the highest CAGR from 2021 to 2026

Hybrid-powered cranes are advanced cranes that use both hydraulic and electric power for the operation. These cranes are more efficient and are used for customized solutions. Hybrid cranes are powered using an electrical supply and diesel generators. Some hybrid cranes are equipped with a large battery energy storage system (ESS) to store electricity. The cranes’ operation is based on the principle of regenerative power. The energy generated while lowering the load is used to charge ESS and supplied as additional power for lifting and hoisting activities. Hybrid cranes are designed to reduce fuel consumption and operating cost.

Construction segment is projected to register the highest CAGR from 2021 to 2026

The construction industry is expected to hold the largest share of the crane market during the forecast period. The construction industry has undergone substantial changes in recent years because of the global recession, which has led to the downsizing of the industry in developed markets. However, the investments regarding construction in most emerging markets have continued to grow at a moderate rate despite the global crisis. Earth-moving equipment is mainly used for construction works such as digging the earth, lifting, loading and unloading weight, and leveling. Applications of cranes in earth-moving equipment include heavy loading, high cycle rating, and accurate movement. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the global construction industry by delayed projects and decreased investments in the infrastructure sector. With the development of vaccination against COVID-19, the real estate and infrastructure projects across the globe are expected to slowly gain pace and lead to the growth of the construction industry. China has already launched the “New Infrastructure” campaign to offset the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These factors are expected to result in a high growth rate of the crane market for the construction industry

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