Game on

10 January 2020

The Middle East is inevitably associated with oil production, as this industry has been fuelling the region’s economy for decades. Fluctuations in the price of the commodity have caused intense economic cycles and at times negatively affected construction activities.

However, projects like high-rise apartment blocks, airports, underground lines and malls have been generating demand for cranes. A large number of lifting equipment is currently also being deployed for the construction of international event venues and related infrastructure, as Dubai will be hosting the Expo 2020 and the World Cup 2022 will take place in Qatar.

The supply of such a high number of cranes of different capacities is not an issue for the region, as it is home to some of the largest fleet owners in the world. For the dedicated feature in this issue, a number of these companies talked to us about some of the largest projects they are currently supplying equipment for and the state of the market.

The presence of major local and international rental companies in the Middle East gained global crane manufacturers' attention for decades. US, European and Japanese manufacturers have always been competing for this region’s market share but competition has intensified in recent years with the increased presence of Chinese cranes.

Competition might get harder in the smallest crane classes globally, but that is for a different reason. Telehandlers are getting stronger and are reaching new heights. This in association with the continuous technological improvement and feature additions, have earned them a place in various construction sites around the world. In this issue, we speak to telehandler manufacturers about their product offering and some of them directly compare their products to smaller cranes.

The tower crane market has traditionally been a tough one, because there is a large number of players competing. It is a market characterised by innovation, as the manufacturers are adding new features and many are expanding their portfolio to higher capacities. For decades flat-tops, hammerheads and luffers have been used around the world, with some types more suitable for some jobs than others.

A new product category has emerged, the low-tops, and two manufacturers—Jaso and Moritsch—are producing models of this type. In this month’s tower crane feature, they talk to Julian Champkin about the benefits of low-tops and their offering. Also, major manufacturers of flat tops and hammerheads discuss about the advantages of each product type.

As this is the first comment of the year, it is important to highlight that the biggest event on the annual calendar is the ConExpo which will take place between March 10 and 14, in Las Vegas, USA. Next month we will include a preview section in the magazine, so if you are exhibiting there get in touch with me with some information about the products you will present on your stand.