The self-dumping hopper is essential equipment used in material handling systems in different industries such as construction, agriculture, and manufacturing, among others. This low-cost unit plays a vital role in collecting, storing, and transporting bulk materials. Its useful characteristics such as compact size, ruggedness, and low cost are primary drivers for the growing demand for self-dumping hoppers globally.
The U.S. self-dumping hoppers market comprises several small scale manufacturers along with a large number of distributors. E-commerce retailing is changing the dynamics of supply chain management in the market and the way in which companies are employing e-commerce in their supply chain management. For instance, Vestil has extensively utilized an online platform to reach out to its customers.
The U.S. self-dumping hopper market size is expected to reach USD 531 million by 2026 at a CAGR of 5.2%.
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A self-dumping hopper is an essential material handling unit used in a range of industries, from woodworking and mining to milling and food processing. However, rising demand for self-dumping hoppers from the construction and food and beverage sector is the primary driving factor for the growth of the U.S. self-dumping hopper market. The construction sector has been one of the key end-users of self-dumping hoppers for the transportation of materials to the desired place.
The U.S. has been witnessing significant expenditure in the construction sector after the 2008 financial crisis, which positively affects the growth of the U.S. self-dumping hopper market. Increased government spending on infrastructural projects is one of the key factors that positively affect the growth of the construction sector in the country. The U.S. government spending on transportation increased to USD 34,775 million in 2018 from USD 30,393 million in 2017.
The increasing agricultural output, multiple food processing companies, and significantly large retail sector have led to an increase in demand for self-dumping hoppers in several material handling applications. For instance, according to the Committee for Economic Development of the Conference Board (CED), the U.S. food and beverage industry comprised around 27,000 organizations. A large number of food and beverage companies led to an increase in demand for self-dumping hoppers, especially to transport organic waste to other locations.
Government organizations are primary buyers of self-dumping hoppers, and increasing municipal solid waste in the country is further expected to increase the demand for self-dumping hoppers. Nevertheless, manufacturers and marketing companies in the market may need to face several challenges to maintain growth. The self-dumping hopper market is considered saturated and comprises a significant number of companies that offer a variety of products.
Self–dumping hoppers are available in the market with a variety of materials such as steel, polyethylene, and structural foam in different sizes and designs. Product fragmentation leads to a lot of different options to choose from. Additionally, self-dumping hoppers are generally used as an attachment for forklift trucks. Hence, to operate a forklift truck with a self-dumping hopper may require training for the operator.
Additionally, larger loaded self-dumping hoppers require a more powerful forklift truck, which increases the cost of the operation as battery-operated, and fuel cell forklifts are a little more expensive. Furthermore, steel hoppers are more durable and have a relatively higher load capacity. However, they become noisy at the time of unloading, while fully loaded non-stackable self-dumping hoppers can be very heavy to push manually.
Some self-dumping hoppers can be stacked on top of each other, which helps in utilizing the minimum space possible in the facility. Most of the hoppers in the market are stackable and hold approximately 81% of the total share in the self-dumping market. The stackable and non-stackable self-dumping hoppers cannot be differentiated much based on their price and applications. Hoppers with the stacking feature must be empty before stacking and generally cannot stack more than three within each other.
The industrial end-user segment has emerged as the largest consumer of self-dumping hoppers in the U.S. market and holds approximately 49% of the total market share in 2018. Transportation and storage are primary applications for which self-dumping hoppers are used in various industries. Companies operating in the market offer a variety of self-dumping hoppers that are designed and developed according to the particular industry and application. Some of the specially developed and designed hoppers types are garbage hoppers, recycling hoppers, grasshoppers, food hoppers, scrap hoppers, and waste hoppers.
Among the several industries, agricultural, food and beverage, construction, and manufacturing are key buyers of self-dumping hoppers. Self-dumping hoppers used in the construction industry are more rugged to meet work demands; however, they have a relatively smaller lifespan as compared to hoppers that are used in the other sectors. This leads to the recurring demand for rugged self-dumping hoppers to perform heavy-duty tasks at construction sites. Self-dumping hoppers are used in the manufacturing industry for lifting, moving, and placing of different materials such as raw material, solid waste, packaging cartons, or finished goods.
Prominent players operating in the U.S. sell-dumping hopper market include
The U.S. self-dumping hopper market is highly fragmented and comprises a large number of small scale manufacturers along with few well-recognized brands such as Wastequip and Vestil. The presence of small scale and regional companies pose challenges for large companies for business expansion. However, companies with higher production capacity such as Wastequip and Vestil enjoy the benefits of economies of scale and earn relatively higher profit margins.
Generally, self-dumping hoppers do not require extensive after-sales service, which makes it easy for local players competing with reputed brands to sustain in the market. Additionally, product differentiation is very low and results in the lack of uniqueness in the product, which increases competitiveness in the market. Self-dumping hoppers are not a highly technical product, which results in small scale companies entering into the market.