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Marine Gearbox Market Size - By Number of Engine (Single, Dual), Application (Commercial Ships, Naval Vessels, Recreational Boats, Fishing Vessels, Offshore Support Vessels), Component, Propulsion System, Type, Sales Channel, Product Type & Forecast, 2024 - 2032

  • Report ID: GMI9775
  • Published Date: Jun 2024
  • Report Format: PDF

Marine Gearbox Market Size

Marine Gearbox Market size was valued at USD 6.8 billion in 2023 and is estimated to register a CAGR of over 5% between 2024 and 2032. The increasing demand for new ships and the growth of the global shipbuilding industry are boosting market growth. Every new ship requires a marine gearbox to operate. The demand for gearboxes is increasing with the growing shipbuilding industry worldwide. This is particularly true for big sectors, such as cargo ships and tankers, which rely significantly on these gears for propulsion.

Marine Gearbox Market

The steps toward bigger & more complicated ships are increasing the demand for gearboxes. These vessels necessitate more powerful & complex gears to manage the increasing load and maneuverability requirements. Gearboxes tend to wear out and require replacement even with adequate maintenance. A rising fleet means a greater pool of ships that will eventually require replacement gearboxes, resulting in a stable aftermarket for marine gear makers.

For instance, in January 2024, the National Maritime Foundation published data stating that, as of 2022, China commanded 47% of the global shipbuilding industry, which surged by 15.5% within that year alone. The report also highlighted India’s growth and initiatives for the shipbuilding sector. It also revealed that over 50% of the global ship fleet, both in terms of number and gross tonnage, is over 15 years old, with nearly 35% surpassing the 20-year mark. This demonstrates the rising need for marine gearbox, hence fueling marine gearbox market growth.

The expansion of maritime tourism and leisure activities is driving market growth. The growing popularity of cruises, yachts, and other recreational boats necessitates larger & more feature-rich vessels. These bigger ships require more powerful engines to reach the necessary cruising speeds. Larger engines require stronger gearboxes to accommodate the higher torque and power output. These gears are more sophisticated and need extensive engineering than those used in smaller ships.

The cruise sector, in particular, competes by providing more lavish amenities and a diverse range of onboard activities. Some mega-ships may have water slides, climbing walls, and even go-kart circuits. These characteristics all put additional strain on the propulsion system, necessitating gearboxes that can properly manage the changing loads while ensuring smooth operation for passenger comfort.

The high initial costs of marine gearboxes pose a major challenge, hampering their growth. Shipbuilding projects are huge enterprises with tight resources. A high-priced gearbox can considerably reduce the entire budget, forcing builders to make difficult decisions. For smaller vessels, such as fishing boats or ferries, the high initial cost of a marine gearbox can be especially problematic.

The gearbox accounts for a significantly higher percentage of the entire project cost in bigger ships. This can lead to them choosing less powerful or even used gears, reducing the total vessel performance and efficiency. Unlike other marine components, gearboxes may not always benefit much from economies of scale. While bigger gearboxes for mega-ships may experience some cost reductions owing to increased production volume, the range of sizes and adaptations required for different vessel types might hinder large-scale manufacturing efficiency.

Marine Gearbox Market Trends

The marine gearbox is witnessing significant technological advancements. New materials, lubricants, and gearbox designs are resulting in a considerable increase in efficiency. This also results in decreased fuel usage for vessels, which is a significant gain given the growing cost of fuel and tougher environmental laws. More fuel-efficient gearboxes may dramatically cut a ship's operational expenses over time, making them a desirable investment for shipbuilders.

Advancements in gear design, lubrication systems, and control technologies are resulting in gearboxes that deliver better power transfer, smoother operation, and more responsiveness. This correlates to improved overall vessel performance, including greater cruise speeds, increased towing capacity, and improved agility, particularly for difficult maneuvers in congested ports in adverse conditions.

For instance, in September 2022, Caterpillar Marine launched two new solutions, the Cat MPC100 and MPC300 solutions. These systems provide reliable and precise control of engines and transmissions, even in harsh marine environments. They offer ergonomic control levers with customizable tops to blend with yacht interiors, extensive integration capabilities to control additional yacht systems such as displays, and built-in redundancy and backup control to ensure uninterrupted operation.

Marine Gearbox Market Analysis

Marine Gearbox Market Size, By Number of Engine, 2022-2032 (USD Billion)

Based on the number of engines, the market is divided into single-engine and dual-engines. The single-engine segment accounted for a market share of over 68% in 2023 and is expected to exceed USD 7.4 billion by 2032. Single engine installations are naturally simpler and less costly than multi-engine designs. This leads into cheaper upfront costs for shipbuilders, especially for smaller and medium-sized boats with tighter budget limits. A complicated system with many engines and gearboxes is more difficult to maintain and troubleshoot than a single engine and gearbox combination.

This lowers maintenance downtime and related expenses for ship operators. Advances in engine technology have resulted in the creation of powerful and efficient single engines capable of propelling a broad variety of watercraft including fishing vessels, ferries, barges, and even smaller cargo ships. In many circumstances, a single & well-optimized engine may achieve higher fuel economy than a multi-engine configuration.

Marine Gearbox Market Revenue Share, By Type, 2023

Based on type, the marine gearbox market is categorized into helical, bevel, spur, worm, and others. The helical segment accounted for around 42% of the market share in 2023. Helical gears contain inclined teeth that progressively mesh, providing a smoother and quieter operation than other gearbox types such as spur gears. This leads to less noise and vibration aboard the vessel, improving passenger and crew comfort, especially on cruise ships and ferries.

Helical gears' angled teeth provide for a wider contact area than spur gears, leading to increased efficiency and improved power transfer, thereby resulting in less energy lost as heat during operation. This, in turn, results in reduced fuel usage and decreased operational expenses for ship owners. Helical gear designs may withstand larger torque levels than other gear types such as bevel gears. This is critical for maritime applications, where gearboxes must manage the high-power output of huge ship engines.

Europe Marine Gearbox Market Size, 2022-2032 (USD Billion)

Europe is the fastest-growing region in the global marine gearbox market with a major share of around 44% in 2023. Europe has a big & established fleet of cargo ships, cruise lines, ferries, and leisure vessels. This fleet requires continuous maintenance, gearbox replacement as they near the end of their life, and repair components, resulting in increased demand in the aftermarket industry. Furthermore, the recreational boating business in Europe is expanding steadily, driven by increased disposable incomes and a growing interest in water-based leisure activities. This leads to a need for modern gearboxes for yachts, fishing boats, personal watercraft, and other leisure vessels.

The U.S. has a strong shipbuilding sector, particularly for military boats, offshore support vessels, and big cruise ships. This robust domestic shipbuilding base results in a consistent need for marine gearboxes. The U.S. Navy prioritizes having a robust & technologically sophisticated fleet. This continual naval growth and modernization creates a demand for high-performance, dependable marine gearboxes for new ships and improvements to the existing ones. Furthermore, the growing U.S. offshore wind energy sector creates a fresh demand for specialized marine gears for service vessels and wind turbine installations.

The APAC marine gearbox market is a shipbuilding hub, with China, South Korea, and Japan at the forefront. This thriving shipbuilding sector has resulted in a significant demand for marine gearboxes for new vessel construction. The APAC region is a significant participant in the global marine trade. The expansion of seaborne trade needs a larger and more efficient fleet, increasing the demand for marine gearboxes. Along with this, numerous APAC governments are actively encouraging the growth of their local shipping industry through subsidies and infrastructural expenditures.

European countries, including France, Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands, are witnessing significant growth in the marine gearbox market. European manufacturers are at the front edge of marine gearbox technology. They are continually developing to provide more efficient, dependable, and lightweight gearboxes to meet the changing demands of the shipbuilding industry. Furthermore, strict environmental rules in Europe governing emissions and fuel economy are pushing the demand for sophisticated gearboxes. Moreover, the countries in the Middle East & Africa (MEA), such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia, are witnessing exploration activities in the Red Sea, Arabian Gulf, and off the coast of West Africa, creating a demand for gearboxes for offshore support vessels and drilling rigs.

Marine Gearbox Market Share

ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Rexroth (Bosch Group) and Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG holds a significant share of over 17% in marine gearbox industry, Rexroth invests in research and development to continually innovate and improve its marine gearbox offerings. They develop gearbox solutions featuring higher torque capacity, increased efficiency, and reduced noise and vibration levels, addressing the evolving needs of their customers.

ZF Friedrichshafen AG focuses on specific market segments within the marine industry, including commercial shipping, offshore vessels, and naval applications. They develop customized gearbox solutions that meet the unique requirements and operational challenges of customers in each segment.

Marine Gearbox Market Companies

Major companies operating in the marine gearbox industry are:

  • Baker Hughes
  • Dana Incorporated
  • Renk AG
  • Rexroth (Bosch Group)
  • Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG
  • Wärtsilä Corporation
  • ZF Friedrichshafen AG

Marine Gearbox Industry News

  • In May 2024, Horsburgh & Scott launched a new industrial marine gearing solutions division. This division will focus on providing expert repair, engineering, and manufacturing services for fluid film bearings used in commercial and industrial marine applications. It offers 24/7 technical support, fast-turnaround emergency repairs, complete inspection and evaluation capabilities, bearing upgrades and retrofits, field service support, and auxiliary systems and condition monitoring.
  • In March 2024, Twin Disc, Inc. signed a definitive agreement to acquire Katsa Oy, a European manufacturer of high-quality power transmission components and gearboxes, in an all-cash transaction valued at EUR 21 million (approximately USD 23 million). The acquisition enabled Twin Disc to expand into new Europe markets while generating cross-selling opportunities through Katsa's existing customer base.

The marine gearbox market research report includes in-depth coverage of the industry with estimates & forecasts in terms of revenue (USD Billion) and shipments (Units) from 2021 to 2032, for the following segments:

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Market, By Number of Engine

  • Single Engine
  • Dual Engine

Market, By Application

  • Commercial Ships
  • Naval Vessels 
    • Warships
    • Submarines 
  • Recreational Boats
    • Yachts
    • Sailboats
    • Powerboats 
  • Fishing Vessels
  • Offshore Support Vessels
  • Others (Ferries, Passenger Ships, etc.)

Market, By Component

  • Input Shaft
  • Output Shaft
  • Gears
  • Clutch
  • Bearings
  • Others

Market, By Propulsion System

  • Inboard Marine Gearboxes
  • Outboard marine Gearboxes

Market, By Type

  • Helical
  • Bevel
  • Spur
  • Worm
  • Others

Market, By Sales Channel

  • OEM 
    • Single Engine
    • Dual Engine
  • Aftermarket 
    • Single Engine
    • Dual Engine

Market, By Product Type

  • Reduction Gearboxes
  • Reverse Gearboxes
  • Hybrid Gearboxes
  • Planetary Gearboxes

The above information is provided for the following regions and countries:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • UK
    • Germany
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Russia
    • Nordics
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
    • South Korea
    • ANZ
    • Southeast Asia
    • Rest of Asia Pacific 
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Argentina
    • Rest of Latin America
  • MEA
    • South Africa
    • UAE
    • Saudi Arabia
    • Rest of MEA


Authors: Preeti Wadhwani, Aishwarya Ambekar

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

The market size of marine gearbox reached USD 6.8 billion in 2023 and is set to witness 5% CAGR between 2024 and 2032, owing to the advancements in technologies and development of innovative products.

The single-engine segment accounted for over 68% share and is expected to exceed USD 7.4 billion by 2032, as single engine installations are naturally simpler and less costly than multi-engine designs.

Europe market held over 44% share in 2023, attributed to the increased disposable incomes and the growing interest in water-based leisure activities.

Baker Hughes, Dana Incorporated, Renk AG, Rexroth (Bosch Group), Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG, Wärtsilä Corporation, and ZF Friedrichshafen AG.

Marine Gearbox Market Scope

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Premium Report Details

  • Base Year: 2023
  • Companies covered: 19
  • Tables & Figures: 300
  • Countries covered: 22
  • Pages: 250
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