The steady flow of materials and goods is the backbone of the modern world. With the enhancing efficiency of data-driven logistics, the swift, safe and precise container handling in ports and terminals has become even more important. This is further making it impossible to imagine a sea port without a reach stacker, which can lift and move tens of thousands of containers daily. With manufacturers rapidly increasing stacking and storage capacity of reach stackers, these container handling equipment are witnessing wide adoption at harbors worldwide. Reach stackers are not just the most frequently observed container handling equipment, but also getting recognized as a key success factor in intermodal transport, owing to their growing adoption for safe and quick container handling.
Growing traction for reach stacker as one of the most flexible container handling solutions to operate at a smaller one unit terminal and medium-sized port as well, is pacing up the gains for the market. As reach stacker can handle heavy containers efficiently even in narrow lanes, while ensuring the driver has ideal visibility, it is increasingly replacing forklift and other conventional container handling equipment. Even the Fact.MR analysts have mentioned this growth in its latest business intelligence, estimating the sales of reach stackers to reach ~US 275 Mn in 2018. The market for reach stacker continues to pick steady pace, owing to the widening applications of this highly versatile and agile equipment for lifting containers of varying capacities.
Seaborne Trade Gearing Up
Shipping continues to be the oxygen of global economy in numerous ways, with the international shipping industry responsible for the carriage of ~90% of world trade. According to UNCTAD stats, the global seaborne trade is expanding at improved 4% rate. As shipping lays the foundation for the intercontinental trade, large scale transportation of raw materials, and the import/export of reasonable food and manufactured goods, handling equipment used at harbors and sea ports have been garnering significant limelight in the recent years. Seaborne trade continues to thrive, bringing benefits for consumers across the world via competitive freight costs. This proliferating seaborne trade has led to an increased demand for efficient and quick container handling equipment that can operate precisely and efficiently even amid the highly congested seaports.
Growing use of containers for sea transportation has been creating a greater need for efficient, quicker, and safe container handling equipment. In view of growing demand for improved container handling equipment, reach stackers are witnessing growing traction over forklifts and other conventional variants. Impressive flexibility along with the higher stacking and storage capacity of reach stacker are highly likely to add to the lucrativeness of these container handling equipment in the years to come.
In view of the growing seaborne trade, several sea ports are also undergoing massive expansion, which in turn is widening the bandwidth of opportunities for reach stacker manufacturers. Surging global seaborne trade volume and evolution of containerized shipping has led to an increased traction for the development of advanced, safe, and efficient container handling equipment, such as reach stackers.
Default container handling equipment continue to become a thing of past as growing number of end users are placing their focus on leveraging advanced variants that promise speed, safety and efficiency. As reach stackers give extensive freedom to the driver along with innumerable rotation possibilities, they are witnessing considerable deployment across sea ports, yards, and industrial spheres. These properties of reach stackers continue to enable driver to improve the work efficiency of the unit, while eliminating the need to approach the container from a 90 degrees position. Apart from increasing application in sea ports, reach stackers are also finding extensive deployment across yards and industrial applications.
Innovation in Full Throttle
With the industries increasingly gravitating toward innovation and technology-driven solutions for various applications, reach stacker manufacturers have shifted their focus on offering highly featured variants. For instance, numerous market players are offering reach stacker tool changer attachment that allows operators to seamlessly swap between a steel slab handler, a c-hook coil handler and a container spreader, thereby, making the equipment more agile in performing multiple activates at the same time.
Automation - Promising Road to Market Growth
Automation is increasingly making inroads into the port equipment, as sea borne trade continues to gain momentum, while creating a demand for highly efficient operations at sea ports. For that matter, several reach stack manufacturers are investing in advanced technology, such as automation to capitalize on the growing demand for quick, and efficient handling of containers of varying sizes. This growing focus of manufactures on embracing automation to develop highly efficient and real time reach stackers is likely to shape the growth of the market in a positive way.
Integrated Dual Solutions Ahead
In light of the growing expectations of end users from container handling equipment, several market players are focusing on integrating dual solution in their offerings. They are focusing on manufacturing hybrid variants that can move and unload containerized bulk cargo using a single machine. Special attachment facilitates that allow the driver to move the machine, allow lifting and pivoting containers is likely to emerge as a game-changing manufacturing feature to appeal to a wide pool of port machinery handlers in the forthcoming years.
The Bumps Ahead for Stakeholders
Though the reach stacker market continues to expand at a steady pace, numerous factors continue to slow down the growth of the market players. High initial investment and operational costs of reach stackers continue to compel end users to rent this container handling equipment as opposed to making an outright purchase of the same. As a widening pool of end users continues to realize the economic value of renting a costly equipment than to purchasing it in the first place, sales of reach stackers are highly likely to drop.
How Stakeholders are Breaking Barriers to Broader Usage?
Several manufactures in the reach stacker market are leveraging advanced technology to introduce eco-friendly variants that can lift and move even the heaviest containers seamlessly, without compromising on ease. For instance, Hyster Europe has announced that the company is working on a zero-emission reach stacker with a hydrogen fuel cell for the Port of Valencia as a part of the H2Ports project and European Horizon 2020 programme. Additionally, numerous market players are experimenting with the permutations and combinations to reduce the overall costs of the equipment. For instance, in 2018, Sany introduced the new reach stacker model ‘H9’ at TOC event. H9 is cited to save ~ 15% machine-related costs per container handled. Such growing efforts by manufacturers are anticipated to fuel the growth of the reach stacker market in the forthcoming years.
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