The growth potential for lifting, loading and handling solutions is huge and continuously increasing, as India propels itself for a sustainable nine per cent plus per annum economic growth. The market is in for a sustainable growth over the next 10 years. Equipment India brings you the details.
Infrastructure in India is set to grow exponentially with huge investments planned by government. The Planning Commission has projected that investment in infrastructure would almost double at US$ 1,025 billion in the 12th Plan, compared to US$ 514 billion in the 11th Plan. Furthermore, private companies are estimated to contribute 36 per cent or around US $186 billion to the infrastructure investment by the end of the 2007-2012 Plan, registering an increase of 25 per cent from the 2002-2007 Plan.
Says SK Bhatnagar, Director and President-Material Handling division, TIL, “Riding on the positive sentiments of growth and business confidence, the market size for mobile and crawler cranes is also set to grow substantially in the years to come. The mobile crane market in India is growing approximately at 20 per cent year on an annual basis and we expect this growth to be continued for the next 4 to 5 years. The rough terrain crane market is shifting towards the higher capacities; hence, we can see a major part of our sales coming from larger capacity cranes in the coming years. The sale of 20T and 30T rough terrain crane is also expected to grow approximately at 10 to12 per cent on an annual basis. As for the truck crane segment, a better growth is envisaged as a lot projects are being implemented now. Bigger machineries are being used, more roads projects are cleared, expansion and modification of all major airports are taking place, the Indian defense sector is spending more money in support equipment, and the oil sector has big expansion plans. A lot of work is going on in the power projects, and cement plants are expanding, and great business potential is seen in ship-building/ship repairing activities too. These activities are sure to boost the need for mobile cranes.”
“The growth potential for lifting, loading and handling solutions is huge and continuously increasing as India prepares itself for a sustainable 9 per cent plus per annum economic growth. The market is in for a sustainable growth over the next ten years. The short term demand scenario also looks good as the budgetary allocations for developing infrastructure, in urban as well as rural parts of the country, in the current fiscal of 2010-11 have seen a huge step up. This will lead to a significant increase in demand for material handling equipment. Trends suggest that most equipment categories will almost reach back to the levels which existed in 2007- the best year which industry experienced eve,” says Rajesh Sharma, Vice President - Sales & Marketing, Escorts Construction Equipment.
“We estimate the market size for cranes in India to be in the region of 2,000 – 2,200 crore per annum. This will translate to approximately 10,000 cranes, of which the public sector demand is 30 per cent and the private sector demand is 70 per cent,” points out Tushar Mehendale, Managing Director, ElectroMech. He further adds, “Currently, India is certainly witnessing an increase in expenditure on several types of projects. Where cranes are concerned, the infrastructure, power and manufacturing sectors have seen a robust demand, all sectors that point towards a relatively healthy economy. Expenditure on infrastructure and capital goods usually points to a healthy economy and this trend is likely to stay with us for the next few years. We see growth for us coming primarily from these sectors as well as the ancillary industries and sectors that will grow complementary to these.”
According to Ajay Kumar Somani, Representative Director (Liebherr-Werk Ehingen GmbH), Liebherr India, “The market started picking up from the third quarter of 2009 and is continuously improving. However, it has not reached the level it was in 2008. During 2010, there has been a significant improvement in the import and export business in comparison with 2009. The power sector, refineries, road construction, airport modernisation, are all coming up with new projects and expansion plans; the windmill sector is still not so high, though a much larger number of manufacturers have become active.”
“We have tremendous growth from the manufacturers of automobiles, machine tools, construction machinery, engineering industry (pumps, valves, compressors, engines, and gearboxes), power and turbine makers, and electrical equipment manufacturing companies. We are likely to maintain focus on these and also add in other growing segments. For ex-proof equipments, we are focussing on refineries, off-shore platforms, and the chemical industry,” says D Anand, General Manager, Stahl Cranes.
According to Sharma of Escorts, “Import is one big challenge. We need to learn from the Chinese example. China banned import of used cranes long ago which helped the Chinese market as it witnessed a tremendous growth, not only in volumes but also in terms new solutions developing and technology capabilities after the ban. As a result, today China has become the largest new truck cranes market globally. In our case, the unbridled imports of used equipment has not only harmed the local manufacturers in terms of affecting the sale of new equipment but also made India a favourite dumping grounds for equipment which have lived their life. This also compromises safety and all other environmental regulations relating to exhaust and noise pollution. It is very ironical that local manufacturers have to obtain CMVR and other certifications relating to pollution whereas old equipment are allowed to be imported without enforcing such requirements on all such imports. The government needs to regulate such imports by making stricter criterion on age and condition of equipment and by enforcing provision of obtaining all requisite environmental, safety and CMVR certification on such imports more vigorously.”
“The unrestricted import of used cranes has caused more damage to the end-users rather than providing cheap alternatives for lifting. We come across free entry of vintage hybrid make, often resulting in unfortunate accidents. Importers do not have any knowledge of the history of these pieces of equipment as they are picked up through auctions or at used crane marts. Such products are a reason for frequent accidents, resulting in loss of operators, property and delay in project schedules. The crane accidents at the Delhi Metro project is just one example. The government must look into this and take action to prevent India becoming the dumping ground for global mobile crane scrap. Import of such equipment must be restricted either by a complete ban or at the least, an OEM certification prior to shipment,” points out Bhatnagar.
Globally, every market is different from the other. For example, China is a large user of truck cranes and not so much of RT slewing cranes whereas Europe is a large user of all- terrain cranes. Similarly, India is a large user of pick and carry cranes. It all depends on local cost structure, work methods and familiarity of a particular technology platform in a specific market.
The Indian crane market has been dominated by pick and carry cranes because of the familiarity of the concept and the very fact that these cranes provide a cost- effective and versatile lifting solution. However, the fast changing dynamics, on account of a scaling up of the projects and heightened emphasis on safety, are opening up opportunities for technologically upgraded solutions such as telescoping slewing cranes of yard, rough terrain, truck and all terrain variety. But the perspective of usage, pick and carry cranes and truck cranes/slewing cranes cater to different application domains and both types remain mutually exclusive to each other. Therefore, while the market for truck cranes is growing, and will continue to do so, it will not happen at the cost of pick and carry cranes as applications are different.
“In India, today the mobile crane market is largely oriented and segmented on the straight boom concept. At the lower end, it is the popular pick n carry cranes, built on a tractor base and on the higher end, it is the truck-mounted heavy duty cranes, says Subhamoy Ghosh, Managing Director, Palfinger Cranes India. He adds, “However, in the global scenario, both these types of cranes are almost non-existent and the market has been taken over by versatile truck-mounted loader cranes. In Asian markets, primarily in east Asia, we see the stiff boom solution. In Europe, and US markets, it is predominantly the knuckle boom cranes. Our primary target is to have ten per cent share of the total mobile crane market by establishing the versatility and value addition of our type of cranes in the next three years. Our growth target is at least 60-70 per cent for the coming three-five years.”
Bhatnagar explains, “India has been the only country where low-cost pick n carry cranes are popular as against slewing type mobile cranes. This is primarily on account of the low value that our customers attach to safety, versatility, efficiency and operating comforts. Also, the absence of proper regulatory standards for mobile cranes in our country is an important reason for the mushrooming of this type of lifting equipment. I am sure that over the next decade, the market will discipline itself substantially and the demand for such pick n carry cranes would decline. There is no reason to believe that India will not follow the globally best practices for lifting equipment as is seen in construction, earthmoving and other industries.”
"Customers these days are obviously looking for application-based solutions and profit earned through efficient handling of loads. A classic example is the popularity of truck-mounted cranes in the brick/tiles industry. Also, when it is general usage, our cranes can be attached or detached with/from any special accessories in quick time and can be put in general hook applications; that is what makes these cranes so versatile,” sums up Ghosh.