The global market for dredgers and dredging equipment touches many diverse applications, ranging from maintaining navigability along the world’s economically critical waterways, to capital development and land reclamation, to environmental protection, and even mining. With so many diverse applications, the global dredging equipment market also benefits from and endures myriad market drivers and stressors.
Making sense of the market as a whole and as a sum of its parts can be confounding. In addition, the majority of operating moderate and large-scale dredge equipment is quickly becoming antiquated. Analysts who follow the industry have been predicting a large-scale equipment upgrade, as global economies have improved over the last decade.
Such a change could lead to a significant boost in global dredge equipment markets. However, even though at least 62% of the global dredge vessel fleet is at least 30 years of age and overdue for update, capital expenditures have not yet materialized. Over the next five years, will we begin to see more significant investment in dredging equipment? Or, balking at conventional trends, will the industry refocus even more strongly on repairing, maintaining, upgrading, and repowering its exiting equipment?
From an applications perspective, much growth over the last decade has focused on capital dredging projects – those large-scale projects that include land reclamation. These projects have brought dredging into the news and the public eye, with high-profile outcomes. However, well over half of the overall global market for dredgers and dredge equipment is utilized outside of this application segment.