The global container handling equipment market size was valued at USD 7.04 billion in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 10.16 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 4.16% during the forecast period (2022-2030). Container handling means loading, unloading, handling, stacking, unstacking, storing, or maintaining (including repairing) containers. CHEs are equipment used in a terminal to transport a container from one location to another. For example, quay cranes, trailers, and RSTs are all container-handling equipment used in an airport. Moreover, container handling equipment such as trucks, cranes, hoists, and others completed the process of transferring the goods from one place to another with fewer complexities. The need for container handling equipment increases as the shipping and transport of containers becomes more critical.
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Growing Emphasis on the Electrification of Container Handling Equipment
Several port and terminal operators are seeking solutions to lessen the environmental impact of their operations while also cutting costs. Over time, the quest for alternative fuels has extended beyond container cranes to include mobile equipment used for stacking and transporting containers at terminals due to increased demands from authorities and growing uncertainty regarding fossil fuel sources and their pricing. The drive trains for mobile equipment used at container terminals have significantly improved over the past ten years.
There is a trend to use rubber-tired gantry cranes and electric-powered, rail-mounted stacking cranes for stacking operations (RTG). Eco-efficiency has grown to be crucial in the cargo and material handling industries. The electrification of ports and terminals is the most recent trend sweeping the sector as ports and airports worldwide work to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions. It has been demonstrated that electrifying port equipment dramatically reduces pollution. The usage of electric and hybrid-electric containers is anticipated to rise in the following years as nations focus on lowering their emissions.
High Capital Cost and Increasing Complexity of Container Handling Equipment
Since container handling equipment has a specialized purpose, each operation requires separate equipment. However, ongoing R&D initiatives by the participants have led to the development of highly sophisticated and multi-tasking products, including sophisticated mechatronic systems. Such systems must be assembled using specific manufacturing techniques. This equipment's design, production, and distribution require substantial financial investments, which raises the final cost to customers.
Additionally, when cabin comfort becomes more of a priority and emission standards change frequently, equipment makers are forced to modify their goods, driving up the price of the machinery even more. Therefore, the excellent price of container handling equipment could harm the development of this sector. Additionally, as they must be transported for single use from far-off locations, the installation costs of container cranes are likely to increase due to the unavailability of components and equipment in remote and underdeveloped areas.
The global container handling equipment market is segmented by equipment and propulsion type.
Based on equipment type, the global container handling equipment market is bifurcated into forklift trucks, stacking cranes, mobile harbor cranes, and rubber-tired gantry cranes.
The forklift truck segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.16% during the forecast period. The growing world economy and rising industrialization drive the demand for forklifts across different fields. Forklift utilization has increased as a result of the range of applications and uses in industries like manufacturing, port handling, and construction. The rapid growth of the e-commerce, retail, and logistics sectors, particularly in developing nations like India, Brazil, Singapore, and Mexico, boosts forklift sales. A high level of activity in the transportation and storage, food and beverage, retail and wholesale distribution, and businesses are also responsible for the increase in forklift numbers. Many firms in the electric forklift industry frequently release new models to stay competitive.
Within the storage facilities of a container terminal, shipping containers are stacked using rubber-tired gantry cranes. The world's biggest container terminals and storage yards employ them as their primary yard handling system. Rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTG) are installed in several large and emerging yards worldwide to increase their container capacity. Several significant players are investing in the research and development of the newest RTG cranes to draw in more clients and expand their market share. As an illustration, Konecranes and Fluidmesh Networks teamed up to complete the proof-of-concept testing of wireless communication for the Konecranes automated rubber tire gantry (ARTG) system.
Based on propulsion type, the global container handling equipment market is bifurcated into diesel, electric, and hybrid.
The diesel segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.23% during the forecast period. Due to their high-power density and cost advantages over hybrid/electric systems, fluid power systems have maintained their popularity in the world of power transmission systems. Hydraulic equipment is the undisputed leader regarding power density and is highly reliable with energy from IC engines (primarily diesel), as opposed to electric motors. A hybrid/electric system might need more substantial components to provide a comparable amount of force, raising the price and complexity of such systems. This idea has made it possible to use hydraulics in the power transmission system, which is chosen by producers of off-highway machinery and material handling equipment (including container handling) (i.e., construction and mining equipment). The demand for diesel engines in container handling equipment is expected to be driven by the desire for more powerful equipment.
Off-road equipment manufacturers have actively invested in the R&D of electric and hybrid vehicles in response to the 2014 EPA regulations regarding the Tier 4 emission standards, which have replaced the market's dominance by diesel engines. However, the majority of off-road machinery's functions demand too much power. As a result, there is a limit on the usage of entirely electric power sources. They are primarily utilized in forklifts, mobile harbor cranes, and rubber-tired gantry cranes, all used in the container handling industry.
Off-road vehicles continue to be powered mainly by diesel-electric hybrids. These hybrid diesel-electric drive systems enable the use of a little smaller engine and lower rpm for the operation of the machinery. As a result, fuel is saved, there are fewer parts movements, and the engine lives longer. In addition to being environmentally friendly, a hybrid engine reduces noise from moving vehicles. Governments worldwide are enacting strict emission restrictions, which further compels manufacturers to release eco-friendly machinery, driving demand for electric and hybrid off-road vehicles.
The global container handling equipment market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
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Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
Asia-Pacific is the most significant shareholder in the global container handling equipment market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.18% during the forecast period. India is an essential player in the Asia-Pacific region. The country's growing economy fuels a thriving port industry, with Mumbai Port serving as India's primary gateway for imports and exports. The Indian government has planned to invest in developing ports around the nation due to the decline in imports and exports. The building of new ports, the creation of Special Economic Zones, and the expansion of manufacturing are all predicted to increase demand for container handling equipment in India.
During the forecast period, China is anticipated to see a higher rate of automation trend in container terminals. East China's Qingdao Qianwan Container Terminal is the region's first entirely automated container terminal thanks to its deep integration of the internet of things, intelligent control, big data, and cloud. In addition, China is positioned to experience the highest growth rate over the projected period due to the country's high industry growth rate and exports of container handling equipment.
Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.15%, generating USD 2,358.20 million during the forecast period. Germany is the most significant contributor to the market. Germany has numerous important inland ports that act as entryways to inland waterways in addition to its busy seaports. The main ports in Germany are Bremerhaven, Wilhelmshaven, and Hamburg, which act as hubs for all types of cargo and transshipment and gateway ports. The port of Duisburg, commonly known as Duisport, is an important inland port in Germany and is regarded as the most important inland port on the planet.
In addition, the United Kingdom is making significant investments in port development schemes to establish itself as a central marine trade hub in the European region. The development of Scotland's most crucial port facility is started, which will cost 350 million euros. The project may result in a 7.3-hectare expansion in the port's berthage area. This aspect can increase the need for port equipment in the nation. Also, the Gottwald HMK 6507b, a 420-ton crane with a lifting capability of 125 metric tons, was purchased for EUR 3 million by the Port of Southampton as part of ongoing infrastructure development.
North America is anticipated to grow significantly over the forecast period. Due to the nation's rapid expansion and increased capital spending, the market for container handling equipment is expanding in the United States. The United States, the second-largest importer in the world, has a significant trade deficit. Despite having the ability to manufacture practically all of its imports, the United States typically pays far less when purchasing from other nations. As a result, ports have grown throughout the nation. Since the country has well-developed EV infrastructure facilities and the government supports the development of electric vehicles, it is anticipated to experience the most significant growth of electric container handling equipment.
In addition, Montreal, Halifax, Vancouver, and Prince Rupert—four of Canada's busiest ports—saw an increase in cargo volume of 4% to 4.5 million TEU. Also, Canada's ports are constructing new terminals and upgrading existing ones to meet the anticipated continuous increase in cargo volume. Due to the adequate power supply, low fuel costs, and inadequate/inadequate electric infrastructure at the Canadian ports, the diesel-powered cargo handling equipment sector is anticipated to hold the most significant market share over the estimated period. The Canadian market for container handling equipment is expected to experience rapid expansion throughout the anticipated period due to the government's emphasis on boosting the cargo capacity at ports and the development of new technology.
According to the most recent data from the World Bank, the United Arab Emirates is one of the most dynamic economies in the world in terms of foreign commerce, with trade accounting for 161% of GDP. The nation is the biggest trading nation in the Middle East and one of the top 20 nations in the world for both commodity imports and exports. For Instance, Al Faris Group ordered sixty-nine mobile and crawler cranes from Liebherr. The United Arab Emirates-based crane company placed an order for cranes valued at about 80 million euros. The order consists of three crawler cranes with a lifting capacity of 400 to 800 tonnes, two LTC 1050-3.1 compact cranes, and mobile cranes with lifting capacities ranging from 55 to 650 tonnes. Also, the Campinas Technology Centre now houses the new corporate headquarters of Clark Material Handling Brazil. This tactical move was required as a prelude to creating a production facility in Brazil and to be ready for further market expansion in Brazil.
The global container handling equipment market’s major key players are