Productivity Is Up In Marine, Down In On-Land Heavy And Civil Engineering Construction

The productivity of marine construction has been increasing in recent years owing to increased automation and new monitoring technologies, but the reverse is true for the on-land segment, a report from The Business Research Company shows.

The three on-land heavy and civil engineering construction segments, utility system construction, highway, street, and bridge construction and land development together account for nearly 70% of the overall market. Other heavy and civil engineering construction, which includes the development of marine and other water facilities but also projects involving open space improvement, accounts for just above 30%. Thus the gain in productivity in the marine segment is likely to be outweighed by the loss in the on-land segment.

The increase in productivity in the marine segment is seen particularly in dredging, land reclamation and offshore construction of oil platforms, and can be attributed to mechanical improvements, automation and better monitoring of offshore construction projects. Another productivity-enhancer has been modular building, which can speed up construction. For example, in Belgium, home to two of the world’s five biggest dredgers, marine contractors’ productivity gains have surpassed productivity figures for the entire building sector. DEME, a Belgian dredging company, is using modular building techniques to construct an 8.6 km-long quay in Singapore, using watertight concrete chambers made in a factory on land. Offshore productivity gains have significantly reduced dredging costs, thus making land reclamation more attractive. For instance, new land in shallow water can now be made for about 300 euros per square metre, as opposed to 1,000 euros per square metre.

The drop in productivity in on-land construction results from low and falling profit margins in this highly competitive market. The market is fragmented: 92.23% is split among businesses with a less than 0.35% share. As a result, workers are used rather than machinery not only in Asia-Pacific, which accounts for three-quarters of the global total and where unit labour costs are low, but also in the West. American builders’ productivity has plunged by half since the late 1960s. In the past 20 years, Germany and Japan have seen negligible growth in construction productivity. In France and Italy, productivity has fallen by one-sixth.

Where to Learn More
Read Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction Market Global Briefing 2018 from The Business Research Company for information on the following:

  • Markets Covered: Utility System Construction, Land Subdivision, Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction and Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction
  • Companies Mentioned: China Railway Group Ltd., China Railway Construction Corporation Limited, China Communications Construction Group Ltd., Bechtel Corporation*, Power Construction Corp. Of China, Grupo ACS, Vinci SA, Bouygues SA, Skanska Group, Strabag SE
  • Geographic scope: Asia Pacific, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, South America, Middle East, Africa
  • Time series: Five years historic and forecast.
  • Data: Market value in $ billions.
  • Data segmentations: Regional breakdowns, market share of competitors, key sub segments.
    Sourcing and Referencing: Data and analysis throughout the report is sourced using end notes.

Interested to know more? Here is a full scope of Construction Market reports to explore:

  • Construction Market Global Briefing 2018
  • Buildings Construction Market Global Briefing 2018

About The Business Research Company.

The Business Research Company is a Business Intelligence Company which excels in company, market and consumer research. It has offices in the UK, the US and India and a network of trained researchers in 15 countries globally.

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