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Narcotics Scanner Market Size - By Product Type (Table-top, Handheld, Walkthrough), By Technology (Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS), Contraband Detection Equipment, Visual Inspection System, Infrared Spectroscopy), By End User & Forecast, 2024 - 2032

  • Report ID: GMI8705
  • Published Date: Mar 2024
  • Report Format: PDF

Narcotics Scanner Market Size

Narcotics Scanner Market size was valued at USD 4.3 billion in 2023 and is estimated to register at a CAGR of over 6.9% between 2024 and 2032. A narcotics scanner is a device designed to detect & identify illicit substances such as narcotics and drugs. Utilizing advanced technology, such as spectroscopy or chemical analysis, it scans objects or individuals to detect the presence of illegal drugs concealed within them. Narcotics scanners are commonly used by law enforcement agencies, customs & border control, and security personnel to intercept the smuggling and trafficking of narcotics.

Narcotics Scanner Market

The growing demand for stringent security measures in transportation hubs, such as airports, seaports, and train stations, is driving market growth. Authorities are increasingly using narcotics scanners to intercept illegal drug trafficking and ensure the safety of passengers and cargo. This surge in demand stems from the need to improve security protocols and prevent narcotics from crossing borders, fueling the adoption of advanced scanning technologies in transportation infrastructure.

For instance, in March 2021, Smiths Detection was selected by Hellenic Police to supply two HCVMe High-Energy Mobile X-ray systems for cargo screening. The HCVM e35 is a powerful, ultra-compact, and fully integrated light mobile platform ideal for inspecting whole trucks, containers, and vehicles for threats such as explosives, narcotics & contraband as well as manifest verification, reducing the need for manual inspection.

The narcotics scanner market is expected to grow significantly owing to the increasing incidences of drug trafficking around the world. There is also an increasing need for advanced detection technologies to intercept illicit substances. Narcotics scanners play an important role in improving security measures at transportation hubs, borders, and other points of entry, boosting the demand for these solutions to combat the rising tide of drug smuggling.

The changing formulations of illicit drugs pose a challenge to the narcotics scanner market. As drug manufacturers continuously develop new synthetic substances and conceal them in innovative ways, traditional scanners may struggle to detect these evolving formulations effectively. This dynamic environment necessitates constant upgrades & enhancements to scanner technology to keep up with the changing landscape of drug smuggling, which may hamper market growth.

Narcotics Scanner Market Trends

There is a growing emphasis on miniaturization & portability, which allows scanners to be deployed in a variety of settings such as checkpoints, events, and mobile units. Advancements in detection technologies, such as spectroscopy and molecular imaging, improve scanner accuracy and performance. Integrating AI & Machine Learning (ML) enables real-time analysis and pattern recognition, improving detection capabilities while reducing false positives. Furthermore, there is a trend toward multi-modal scanners, which combine various detection techniques for comprehensive screening.

Furthermore, these scanners are being adopted in sectors other than law enforcement, such as workplaces, schools, and healthcare facilities, due to concerns about safety & drug abuse. For instance, in August 2023, Smiths Detection announced that its IONSCAN 600 Explosives Trace detector (ETD) was designated as Qualified Technology on the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Air Cargo Screening Technology List (ACSTL), allowing the IONSCAN 600 to be purchased and used as part of global screening operations by regulated air cargo facilities.

Regulations mandating drug screening in various industries propel market growth by increasing the demand for dependable and compliant scanning solutions. Overall, these trends reflect a dynamic market adapting to the evolving challenges and technological advancements while expanding product applications across diverse sectors.

Narcotics Scanner Market Analysis

Narcotics Scanner Market, By End User, 2022-2032, (USD Billion)

Based on end user, the market is segmented into airport, defense & military, law enforcement, public transportation, and others. The airport segment accounted for a market share of over 35% in 2023.

  • Airports serve as primary entry points for international travelers and cargo, making them vulnerable to drug trafficking. As authorities step up efforts to combat the illicit drug trade, the demand for advanced narcotics scanning technologies at airports grows. Furthermore, strict security regulations and increased awareness of drug-related threats have prompted airports to invest in robust detection systems to protect passengers, employees, and property.
  • Advancements in detection technologies, such as increased sensitivity and non-intrusive screening methods, make them more appealing for use in airports. As a result, the airport segment provides a significant opportunity for narcotics scanner manufacturers with sustained growth expected as airports worldwide prioritize security enhancements in response to evolving threats and regulatory requirements.
Narcotics Scanner Market Share, By Product Type, 2023

Based on product type, the narcotics scanner market is segmented into table-top, handheld, and walkthrough. The handheld segment is poised to register a significant CAGR of over 7.3% during the forecast period.

  • Handheld devices are portable and user-friendly, enabling law enforcement, border control, and security personnel to conduct on-the-spot screenings in a variety of settings such as airports, seaports, and border crossings. This portability enables quick and efficient scans, improving operational efficiency & response times. Technological advancements have resulted in the development of highly sensitive and accurate handheld scanners that can detect a wide range of narcotics with a few false positives. This increased accuracy increases trust in the screening process and contributes to the overall effectiveness of anti-drug campaigns.
  • Increasing incidences of drug trafficking, combined with the need for enhanced security measures around the world, are driving the demand for handheld narcotics scanners as a proactive approach to combating the illicit drug trade. As a result, the handheld segment is expected to experience rapid expansion in the coming years.
U.S. Narcotics Scanner Market Size, 2022-2032, (USD Billion)

North America held a significant share of over 30% in the global narcotics scanner market in 2023. The region’s strong economy and significant investments in security infrastructure fuel the demand for advanced detection technologies. Furthermore, stringent regulatory frameworks and growing concerns about drug trafficking drive the adoption of narcotics scanners in a variety of industries including transportation, law enforcement, and border security. Furthermore, technological advancements and innovations in detection capabilities improve market prospects, positioning North America as a promising region for the market.

Narcotics Scanner Market Share

Bruker Corporation and FLIR Systems Inc. holds a significant share of over 5.5% in the narcotics scanner market. Leveraging advanced spectroscopy and imaging technologies, the company provides a range of high-performance narcotics scanners tailored for law enforcement, border control, and security agencies. With a global presence and a reputation for reliability and accuracy, Bruker Corporation continues to be a leading provider of narcotics detection solutions.

Furthermore, major players, such as OSI Systems Inc., Bruker Corporation, FLIR Systems Inc., and Smiths Detection Inc., are constantly implementing strategic measures, such as geographical expansion, acquisitions, mergers, collaborations, partnerships, and product or service launches, to gain market shares.

Narcotics Scanner Market Companies

Major companies operating in the narcotics scanner industry are:

  • Astrophysics Inc.
  • Aventura Technologies Inc.
  • Bruker Corporation
  • Chemring Group PLC
  • FLIR Systems Inc.
  • L-3 Security And Detection Systems Inc.
  • Nuctech Company Limited
  • OSI Systems Inc.
  • Smiths Detection Inc.
  • Thermofisher Scientific Inc.
  • Viken Detection

Narcotics Scanner Industry News

  • In March 2024, OSI Systems, Inc. announced that its non-intrusive inspection system was used to detect six and a half tons of methamphetamine in a tractor-trailer truck at the Eagle Pass Port of Entry, the largest such seizure ever at a U.S. port of entry. The scan revealed anomalies in the cargo and CBP officers subsequently discovered the narcotics, which had a street value of USD 117 million.
  • In October 2023, Teledyne FLIR Defense launched the Griffin G510x portable chemical detector, specifically designed to analyze and identify explosives & narcotics including fentanyl during field operations. The variant builds on the success of its popular G510 system and allows first responders & law enforcement to identify street drugs within five minutes.

The narcotics scanner market research report includes in-depth coverage of the industry with estimates & forecast in terms of revenue (USD Million) from 2018 to 2032, for the following segments:

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Market, By Product Type

  • Table-top
  • Handheld
  • Walkthrough

Market, By Technology

  • Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS)
  • Contraband detection equipment
  • Visual inspection system
  • Infrared spectroscopy

Market, By End User

  • Airport
  • Defense & military
  • Law enforcement
  • Public transportation
  • Others

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

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


Authors: Suraj Gujar, Sandeep Ugale

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

The market size of narcotics scanners surpassed USD 4.3 billion in 2023 and is set to expand at over 6.9% CAGR between 2024 and 2032, owing to the growing demand for stringent security measures in transportation hubs, such as airports, seaports, and train stations.

Handheld narcotics scanners segment is estimated to record over 7.3% CAGR during 2024-2032, as these devices are portable and user-friendly, enabling law enforcement, border control, and security personnel to conduct on-the-spot screenings in a variety of settings.

North America market accounted for more than 30% revenue share in 2023, due to the strong economy and significant investments in security infrastructure.

Some of the top narcotics scanner companies are Astrophysics Inc., Aventura Technologies Inc., Bruker Corporation, Chemring Group PLC, FLIR Systems Inc., L-3 Security And Detection Systems Inc., Nuctech Company Limited, OSI Systems Inc., Smiths Detection Inc., Thermofisher Scientific Inc., and Viken Detection.

Narcotics Scanner Market Scope

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Premium Report Details

  • Base Year: 2023
  • Companies covered: 11
  • Tables & Figures: 295
  • Countries covered: 22
  • Pages: 210
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