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Ship Loader and Unloader Market Size - By Type (Fixed/Stationary, Mobile), By Technology (Automatic, Mechanical, Pneumatic), By Bulk, By Capacity, By Application, By Distribution Channel, Regional Outlook & Forecast, 2024 – 2032

  • Report ID: GMI8237
  • Published Date: Feb 2024
  • Report Format: PDF

Ship Loader and Unloader Market Size

Ship Loader and Unloader Market was valued at USD 40 billion in 2023 and is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 4.5% between 2024 and 2032, due to the rising demand for efficient and cost-effective global transportation of goods. With the rise in international trade and the expansion of the shipping industry, the need for advanced loading and unloading systems has become crucial. These systems not only save time and labor costs but also ensure the safe and secure handling of cargo, reducing the risk of damage or loss.

Ship Loader and Unloader Market

The expansion of e-commerce and the growth of online shopping have also contributed to the demand for efficient and quick loading and unloading systems. The increase in volume of goods being shipped through ports and terminals has driven the need for advanced equipment that can handle large quantities of cargo. This has led to the development of high-capacity ship loaders and unloaders that can handle a wide range of goods, from containers to bulk materials, making them versatile and adaptable to various industries.

Disruptions in global supply chains, such as natural disasters, geopolitical conflicts, labor disputes, or transportation bottlenecks, can impact the supply of raw materials, components, and spare parts for ship loader and unloader manufacturing and maintenance. Economic recessions or slowdowns in key industries such as mining, manufacturing, and construction can negatively impact the demand for new ship loaders and unloaders and the utilization rates of existing equipment. Uncertainties related to tariffs, trade agreements, and regulatory changes can further disrupt trade flows and investment decisions in the market.

Ship Loader and Unloader Market Trends

Several trends are shaping the evolution and future prospects of the ship loader and unloader industry. These trends reflect advancements in technology, changes in market dynamics, and shifting industry priorities. There is a growing emphasis on automation and robotics in ship loading and unloading operations. Automated systems, including robotic arms, gantry cranes, and conveyor belts are increasingly used to streamline cargo handling processes, improve efficiency, and reduce labor costs. Additionally, remote monitoring and predictive maintenance solutions are gaining traction in the ship loader and unloader industry. Rising global trade volumes and increasing vessel sizes are driving investments in port expansion and infrastructure upgrades.

Ship Loader and Unloader Market Analysis

Global Ship Loader and Unloader Market Size, By Type, 2021 - 2032 (USD Billion)

The fixed ship loader and unloader segment was worth over USD 23 billion in 2023. The development of fixed ship loaders and unloaders has greatly improved the efficiency and safety of loading and unloading operations in ports around the world. These specialized machines are designed to handle a wide range of cargo, including bulk materials such as coal, grain, and minerals, as well as containerized and general cargo. They can load and unload ships at a rate of up to 10,000 tons per hour, significantly reducing the time it takes to complete these operations. This not only saves time and increases productivity, but also minimizes the risk of delays and ensures that ships can depart or arrive on schedule.

Ship Loader and Unloader Market Revenue Share (%), By Technology, (2023)

The mechanical ship loader and unloader segment exceeded USD 23 billion in 2023. Mechanical ship loaders and unloaders have a minimal impact on the environment compared to traditional methods. The use of conveyor belts and cranes reduces the need for heavy machinery and trucks, which emit harmful emissions. This makes it a more sustainable and eco-friendly option for cargo handling. The maintenance and upkeep of the mechanical machinery is also relatively simple and cost-effective. The machinery is designed to withstand harsh marine environments, requiring minimal repairs and replacements. This means that the initial investment in the technology can be recouped over time through its long-term cost savings and efficiency.

China Ship Loader and Unloader Market Size, 2021 - 2032 (USD Billion)

Asia Pacific region dominated around 40% share of the ship loader and unloader market in 2023, owing to its strategic location and increasing trade activities. As per the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), China is the second-largest ship-owning country after Greece, followed by Japan (third), Singapore (fourth), Hong Kong, China (fifth), the Republic of Korea (sixth) and Taiwan Province of China (eighth). When measured by value, ship owners in China have an 11.04% share of the world fleet, second to Greece with 11.8%. Japanese ship owners hold a 10.73% share.

According to the Container Port Performance Index (CPPI), 18 of the top 25 ports globally are in Asia, including 11 in Eastern Asia and four in Western Asia. Ship loaders and unloaders are crucial equipment that play a critical role in the efficient and safe handling of goods at ports. With the rising demand for goods and commodities, there has been a significant increase in maritime trade, leading to the expansion of ports and terminals in Asia Pacific.

Ship Loader and Unloader Market Share

Global Company Market Share Analysis, 2023, (%)

Prominent players including Buhler, Dana Limited, and Liebherr Group accounted for over 30% market share in 2023. These players are proactively involved in strategic endeavors, such as mergers & and acquisitions, facility expansion, and collaborations, to expand their product portfolios, extend their reach to a broader customer base, and strengthen their market position. These enterprises consistently allocate resources to R&D, aiming to enhance their designs and integrate cutting-edge technologies, thereby ensuring that they maintain a competitive edge.

Ship Loader and Unloader Market Companies

Major players operating in the ship loader and unloader industry include:

  • AUMUND Group
  • BEUMER Group
  • Buhler
  • Dana Limited
  • EMS-Tech
  • FAM Förderanlagen Magdeburg
  • FLSmidth
  • Liebherr Group
  • NEUERO Industrietechnik für Förderanlagen GmbH
  • Sandvik
  • Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.
  • SMB Group
  • VIGAN Engineering S.A

Ship Loader and Unloader Industry News

  • In May 2023, Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (ZPMC) developed new high-efficiency and environment-friendly screw ship unloaders. The equipment is designed to unload bulk coal cargo with a weight of 100,000t, a rated capacity of 1,500t/h and a maximum capacity of 1,800t/h. The newly developed screw ship unloader adopts a new combination scheme of horizontal screw conveyor and belt conveyor.
  • In March 2022, FLSmidth has been awarded the contract to build Gladstone Ports Corporation’s (GPC) new ship loader 1 on site in Queensland, Australia. As part of the contract, FLSmidth will build the new ship loader within Gladstone Ports Corporation’s Port Central Precinct, where it will then be transferred via a heavy lift ship a short distance to its new home for operation.

This ship loader and unloader market research report includes in-depth coverage of the industry with estimates & forecasts in terms of revenue (USD Billion) and volume (Thousand Units) from 2018 to 2032, for the following segments:

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Market, By Type

  • Fixed/stationary.
  • Mobile

Market, By Technology

  • Automatic
  • Mechanical
  • Pneumatic

Market, By Bulk

  • Dry
  • Liquid

Market, By Capacity

  • Up to 5000 t/h
  • 5000 t/h to 10,000 t/h
  • 10,000 t/h to 20,000 t/h
  • Above 20,000 t/h

Market, By Application

  • Mining
  • Ports and Shipping
  • Construction
  • Machinery
  • Others (Power plant industry)

Market, By Distribution Channel

  • Direct sales
  • Indirect Sales

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

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


Authors: Avinash Singh , Sunita Singh

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

The market size of ship loader and unloader was reached USD 40 billion in 2023 and is projected to expand at over 4.5% CAGR between 2024 and 2032, owing to the rising demand for efficient and cost-effective global transportation of goods.

Fixed ship loader and unloader market generated more than USD 23 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow considerably through 2032 owing to the ongoing advancements for offering improved efficiency and safety of loading and unloading operations in ports around the world.

Asia Pacific ship loader and unloader market accounted for more than 40% revenue share in 2023 and is estimated to expand at a notable CAGR from 2024 to 2032, owing to the increasing trade activities across the region.

Some of the top hip loader and unloader industry players are AMECO, BEUMER Group, Buhler, Dana Limited, EMS-Tech, FAM Förderanlagen Magdeburg, FLSmidth, Liebherr Group, NEUERO Industrietechnik für Förderanlagen GmbH, Sandvik, Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co., Ltd., SMB Group, TAKRAF GmbH, and VIGAN Engineering S.A.

Ship Loader and Unloader Market Scope

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Premium Report Details

  • Base Year: 2023
  • Companies covered: 15
  • Tables & Figures: 428
  • Countries covered: 22
  • Pages: 480
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