The latest Fact.MR business intelligence indicates that the reach stacker market witnessed sales of 1,364 units in 2018, which are estimated to grow further by ~7% in 2019, owing to the strengthening demand for container handling equipment. Increasing traction for port material handling equipment, coupled with rapid expansion of growing number of sea ports, in line with the proliferating sea borne trading continues to augment market growth.
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Rapid expansion of intermodal barge shipping to the smaller as well as canalized waterways has been creating a considerable demand for a water reach stacker with tri-modal handling functionality- road, rail and water, finds Fact.MR. In the last couple of years, port activity and cargo handling of containerized and bulk has grown significantly, while driving the need for an increased development of improved and safer port infrastructure to suffice the steady pace of seaborne trading.
Deployment of reach stackers continues to grow significantly across the increasing number of sea ports worldwide, which contributed to the sales of 973 units in 2018, while accounting for 70% of the overall market sales. This can be attributed to the fact that trade through marine ports contribute to ~80% of the international trade volume and ~ 70% of the total trade value. Though the sea port applications of reach stacker continue to accelerate rapidly, demand from yards/landslide is also growing, however at a much slower pace. An increased number of warehouses and factories are also adopting reach stackers, owing to the rapid industrial expansion in several countries, which in turn is highly likely to pace up the lucrativeness of market in the years to come.
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As per the Fact.MR study, though the demand for internal combustion engine based reach stackers has been growing over the years, and witnessed sales of 1,124 units in 2018, sales of hybrid variants are also likely to pick pace. This falls in line with the growing manufacturer shift towards integrating advanced propulsion system into their reach stacker models. Eco-friendly variants are also anticipated to witness considerable demand in the forthcoming years due to the continuing global tension over the carbon emission from the industrial operations.
Amid the growing emission concerns and high operational costs of conventional reach stackers, several market players have placed their focus on manufacturing customized, hybrid and electric variants. For instance, a leading market player- Konecranes has recently launched a hybrid reach stacker with improved operator performance and maintenance-friendly solutions to boot. Such growing innovation-driven initiatives of market players have been estimated to lead the way to the future of container handling.
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