The factors affecting the nations in Asia’s lifting market

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The factors affecting the nations in Asia’s lifting market
« on: September 18, 2023, 06:41:22 AM »
 Asia comprises 48 countries and some 30% of the world’s landmass, and stretches from Afghanistan to Japan and the Philippines, taking in India and China along the way. China is the world’s second-largest economy, after the US; Japan is at number three; and India, currently at number five, is forecast to overtake both Japan and Germany to take the number three spot by 2030. India was also projected to have overtaken China as the world’s most populous country in April of this year, while multinational investment bank Morgan Stanley estimates that the nation’s GDP is likely to more than double from current levels by 2031.

“India, too, is looking to be a massive market experience, especially for European products. India is currently doing very well,” says Dow. “I think there’s some good potential in Vietnam. Hong Kong seems to be picking up a bit. It obviously forms part of China, but China has many different [areas] with different economic cycles.”

“Those customers will go through China rather than direct to the Western manufacturer, and the Chinese will go out to source it from where they can. Some rebrand the crane with their ownbrand logo, but many generally keep the European name on it, because European brands carry prestige.”


For the Chinese middleman there is another rationale beside a well-regarded name: “There are various markings from standards approval bodies; you need CE or UKCA markings to show that your product conforms to the standards of the EU or UK. The middleman could buy similar cranes made in China more cheaply, but they cannot put those conformity marks on them – the process is too expensive for a small batch of cranes. So it is cheaper for them to buy from us at Street Crane and resell it through their market.

“We get a lot of inquiries requesting that. The success rate on the inquiries obviously depends on the mark-up that the middleman is wanting. It is generally better for the final customer to go directly through the OEM’s agents in Asia. We at Street Crane have agents pretty much across the region. We have three in India, and agents in Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and in mainland China as well. Other European OEMs have their agents also.

“What tends to happen is that we sell kits – the trolleys, controls and engineered parts – to our agents and distributors and they will then manufacture the steel structures to go with our kits. The end result is that there are hoists within China that come from the UK, from Street Crane, that are working in various factories, be it Siemens factories or any of a dozen other international names that manufacture in China.”

“It’s a very tough market to be competitive in because in a lot of other markets, such as the Middle East, Europe, Australia or the Americas there is always a consideration between price and quality. Customers are willing to pay more for quality. That hardly happens in the Asian market. It is not often that the customer will compare the immediate price of the product against actual long-term cost of ownership – the longevity, the reliability, the cost of downtime from a cheaper product. It is price-driven not quality-driven.”

Dow continues: “And I am sure that is the case not only for Street Crane but for all the big brands such as Demag and Stahl: all suffer with the same issue – that they are not always competing on the quality of the product. European makers all strive to achieve best-quality product and to have a reputable name, but in those markets quite often quality doesn’t actually matter. What does matter is ‘Can we get it on the shelf straight away?’ and ‘Does it work?’ So a very big base of your orders would be lost from just going up against someone selling something cheaper.”


There are, of course, many homegrown and joint-venture OEM manufacturers, large and small, throughout the region. For them, a frequent business model is to echo the procedure of the Street Crane distributors: to use European components with locally made steel structures. China-New Zealand joint venture Dongqi, based in Henan province, China, cooperates with European machinery manufacturers such as both Nord and Siemens from Germany and Schneider from France.

“We believe only those components which are designed and manufactured strictly according to European standards can makes the performance of our cranes reach and even exceed the international advanced level at present,” says its website.

Henan Seven Industry – Henan is a centre for crane makers – produces single- and double-girder overhead and gantry cranes, rubber-tyred gantry cranes, jib cranes and related kit, similarly with European inputs. It says it has exported to over 60 countries and regions, not only in Asia but as far afield as UAE, New Zealand and the Dominican Republic. This year alone it has sent, among others, a singlebeam bridge crane of 10m span and 15t capacity to Morocco; an aluminium gantry crane to Malaysia; and a 30t semi-gantry crane to Uzbekistan, the contract for which was helped by the client hearing of a similar crane from the same company delivered to that country not long before. A customer from Uruguay received two identical wire rope hoists, to work synchronously, using Schneider electronic components for the pendent and remote control.

Japan, of course, has its own major global manufacturers. Among them is Kito. This year, Kito Corporation celebrated its 90th anniversary. Also in 2023, it combined with the US-based Crosby Group. The Crosby Group’s cash offer, for all outstanding shares of Kito Corporation for Y2,725 per share, and the completion of the related squeeze-out process and de-listing of Kito from the Tokyo Stock Exchange, were completed in January. The new combination, under the name Kito Crosby, brings together two companies with complementary geographic footprints and product portfolios: Crosby specialises in rigging equipment, with brands such as Crosby Straightpoint, Gunnebo Industries, and Crosby Airpes, while Kito is well known for its chain hoists and electric wire-rope hoists; its brands include ITO, Harrington, Jiangyin, Erikkila and Van Leusden. Under the new entity Kito Crosby team members will be participants in the employee ownership programme. The new entity will have 4,000 such team members.

The factors affecting the nations in Asia’s lifting market



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Re: The factors affecting the nations in Asia’s lifting market
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