The global dredging market has witnessed its share of ups and downs over past decade, and especially during post economic crisis years. However, with the recovery in global economy, the global trade grew significantly. Spurt in global infrastructure activities has necessitated the need for expansion of existing ports, and development of new ones. Additionally, considering the fact that over 85% of global trade is carried out through sea trade, maintaining existing pathways and creating new ones has gained prominence.
According to UNCTAD, global seaborne trade volumes surpassed 10 billion tons in 2015, with shipments expanding by over 2%. The outlook on global seaborne trade remains overly positive, with seaborne trade volume growth projection of over 3% for next five year. Furthermore, upcoming projects, such as One Belt and One Road Initiative (OBOR) likely to provide growth opportunities to dredging industry.
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The need for robust seaborne infrastructure vis-à-vis dredging services can also be appraised by looking at the emphasis as well as investment governments are bucketing for seaborne infrastructure. Realizing the potential, European bigwigs jumped on the driving seat long back and has been stirring the industry.
Fact.MR’s research study projects the global dredging market to surpass US$ 16 Bn in revenues by 2022. The year-on-year growth for global dredging industry is projected over 2.5% over next five year, creating incremental opportunity of US$ 2 Bn.
Tourism Sector – a Catalyzer for Global Dredging Market
The prospects of dredging industry are closely tied with the broader developments in the global tourism sector, as construction of new airports and beach replenishments accounts for a sizeable share of total revenues generated by dredging companies. According to data from World Tourism Organization, the total number of international tourist arrivals in 2016 stood at over 1.2 billion.
The direct, indirect, and induced revenue generated in the global travel and tourism sector were pegged at over US$ 7.5 trillion in 2016. In spite of uncertainty in the global political sphere, the global tourism sector is projected to grow at a brisk pace in the foreseeable future, providing opportunities to dredging service providers in the due course.
Dominance of Belgian and Dutch Dredging Companies Continues
The world’s four biggest dredging companies are from Belgium and Netherlands. DEME and Jan De Nul from Belgium, and Boskalis and Van Oord from the Netherlands were around during the 1980s when the global dredging market was highly consolidated, with the presence of over 20 dredging companies in Belgium and Netherlands alone.
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Through a series of mergers and acquisitions (with the exception of Jan De Nul), these companies strengthened their position, and today, they are part of the ‘Big Four’ in the global market, as highlighted in a recently published report by Fact.MR. These four companies have, amongst them, handled some of the most iconic and complex projects globally. These four companies are likely to continue their market domination throughout the forecast period.
What other Players are Dredging, then?
The report by Fact.MR distinguishes players in global dredging market among three key strategic groups subjected to their focus and regional presence. Leading players in the dredging market which comprehensively focusses on dredging and has operational span across the globe. Companies like Jan De Nul, Boskalis, Van Oord and DEME are such companies clearly exhibit leading position in the global dredging market. The other group of companies, which do not boast dredging as their key business function, however, account for the substantial share of the global dredging business.
Construction companies from Asia are leading in this cluster of companies. China Construction Communication Company (CCCC), Hyundai Engineering & Construction, Samsung Engineering & Construction, Toa Corporation are dominant players in this category of dredging business. These companies have operational span less than the leading category of aforementioned players in dredging specialist companies. Predominantly, construction is the key business function of these companies, but they also offer services as dredger across diverse geographies.
The third group of players in the global dredging market is regional operators, which are largely based out of Europe, and predominantly are Dutch companies. A handful of the Asian companies fare in this list such as Gulf Cobla and National Marine Dredging Corporation from UAE, Rukindo from Indonesia, DCI from India. European market houses a large number of such regional player a few in the list include Van der Kamp, Van den Herik, Baggerbedrijf De Boer etc.
Ecological Impact of Dredging Can Impede Approvals from Regulatory Authorities: Although dredging remains an important activity from economic perspective, when carried out without consideration, it has the potential to cause ecological imbalance. Environmentalists have often opposed several mega dredging projects around the globe. According to a report by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the large-scale dredging at Miami led to the burying of 81% of coral reef at the site.
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Earlier in July this year, the Court of Appeal found that the Northern Ireland Government acted unlawfully by failing to intervene the sand dredging at Lough Neagh lake in Northern Ireland. While the dredging market stakeholders has committed to safeguard the conservation of environment, disruption in ecological balance remains a longstanding challenge for all the stakeholders. Growing spate of incidents where the fragile ecological balance is disrupted can impede dredging approvals, creating bottlenecks in contract allocation.
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Dredging Market Outlook and Growth Stance Forecasted Through 2022
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