The Access Equipment Market experiences a rapid return in growth due to price rises and material shortages
The access equipment market contracted by 13% in 2020, but rebounded more rapidly than expected in 2021, with growth of 11%. The market is forecasted to grow by a further 16% between 2021 and 2026.
The rapid return to growth in construction activity was coupled with price rises triggered by increases in prices of key commodities, such as aluminium and steel, as well as supply chain disruption and material shortages.
Within the market, non-powered access equipment accounts for 43%. Ladders make up the largest share of this product segment, followed by scaffolding and access towers. Making up the remainder of the market is specialist equipment such as suspended access and mast climbers.
Product developments have had little impact on market growth but the revisions to the EN131 standard for ladders in 2018 has driven the replacement of older models of ladders with those that are compliant to the new standard to some extent.
However, the tendency to switch from ladders to access towers or low-level powered access products continues to pose a competitive threat to ladder manufacturers. Despite the chance of a competitive threat, ladders continue to dominate an estimated 42% of the non-powered access market.
Compared to the non-powered access equipment market, the powered access market is much more dynamic with a steady flow of new product development and innovation helping to stimulate growth, as well as the trend to switch from diesel to battery-powered and hybrid machines.
Sales to the rental sector represent by far the largest segment of the powered access market, with 50% share. This is due to low-interest rates and easy finance in recent years encouraging rental companies to invest in new units. The MEWP sector is of particular importance as it accounts for an estimated 80% of manufacturer sales.
Providing his thoughts on the market is Editor, Mike Joseph from AMA Research. He states “the access equipment market shows a marked contrast between non-powered and powered equipment.
The non-powered access market is a mature one, with little innovation; the growth of system scaffolding in place of traditional scaffolding is an exception. This market segment is therefore heavily reliant on growth in the construction sector.
Powered access equipment, especially MEWPs, offers more scope for the development of new added value products. The recent period of low-interest rates has encouraged rental companies to invest in fleet renewal and expansion. However, this period is now coming to an end and the sector faces adverse economic headwinds in the near future.”
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