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Autonomous Cranes Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Crane Type (Static Crane, Mobile Crane), By End-Use (Building & Construction, Marine & Offshore, Mining & Excavation, and Others), and Regional Forecasts, 2021-2028

Last Updated :April 01, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI106575



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The global autonomous cranes market size stood at USD 2.75 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow from USD 3.34 billion in 2021 to USD 15.66 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of 24.70% in the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with witnessing a negative impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a lower growth of -8.9% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.

Autonomous cranes are mechanical cranes with a system of wire ropes, sheaves, or chains hoist ropes that use smart technology-enabled software and hardware for material handling applications such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine vision. Automated cranes are a next-generation solution for lifting and moving big materials that offer various advantages such as collision avoidance, time savings, and operational effectiveness. Autonomous crane is still in its development, and most market participants are working on product development to meet end users' specific needs. Moreover, automated type of cranes can be controlled from a control room, allowing the operator to keep a close eye on the crane's activities while maintaining a high level of safety and comfort.

This market is expected to develop due to a growing focus on public-private partnerships (PPPs) and cranes' increasing penetration of smart technology. However, the market expansion is constrained by fluctuating raw material prices and lack of skilled labor. On the other hand, entering into long-term business agreements and contracts is expected to provide attractive growth prospects for market participants.


Decline in Production & Sales of Cranes and Reduced Demand for Autonomous Cranes Amid COVID-19 to Hamper Market Growth

The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly spread worldwide, impacting the automated crane market. In March 2020, the coronavirus outbreak resulted in lockdowns being enforced in most countries worldwide. Due to restrictions imposed by various governments, industry players have been forced to allow their personnel to work remotely. Over the forecast period, the adoption of automated technologies to reduce human contact in industrial facilities is expected to promote the growth of the global market. During the pandemic, businesses continued operating due to advanced electronics and automated technology, ensuring company continuity and increased production.

Several emerging and developed countries have imposed partial or entire countrywide lockdowns to maintain social distance. Several retail locations and e-commerce services were shut down to stop the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. During lockdown, the manufacture of construction-related products and the provision of related services were limited to authorized levels. Automated crane production was also severely hampered, resulting in a demand-supply gap. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted supply chains, hindering the growth of the global market. These variables have had a significant impact on the global economy and the construction industry's revenue generation. However, in some regions, the commercial opportunity for automated cranes was maintained as mining activities were declared essential and continued to operate during the lockdown.


North America Autonomous Cranes Market Size

Increasing Focus Toward Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) Fueling the Autonomous Cranes Market Growth

Infrastructural development is hindered by the lack of government funding, mainly in developing nations. Infrastructure development is a crucial factor in increasing urbanization. The lack of financial resources and efficient methods for mobilizing resources for development cause the infrastructure gap. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have channeled private funding for infrastructure development in various countries. According to research released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Korea Development Institute in January 2019, private participation in the infrastructure database contains approximately 6,400 PPP infrastructure projects with at least 20% private ownership. PPPs are widely distributed across Asia, including over 70% in South Asia and East Asia, with China and India contributing about 90% of the total.

Furthermore, the infrastructure sector is a big consumer of cranes. Therefore, as the industry grows, it will directly create a demand for cranes. Likewise, changing infrastructure sector requirements, such as more excellent safety and operational efficiency, are expected to fuel the demand for automated cranes, resulting in market growth.


Increasing Construction And Renovation Activities To Propel Market Growth

Heavy equipment service providers, infrastructure development personnel, the government, and others are projected to create demand for automated crane solutions due to operational effectiveness and increased safety. Furthermore, automated cranes are still in the early stages of development and are made-to-order product lines, often constructed in smaller quantities with signed contracts and agreements. Contracts and agreements between end-users and automated crane developers are expected to implement the automated cranes solution. These contracts provide a list of requirements that must be accomplished within a particular period. Long-term business potential with end-users is also associated with these contracts and agreements. In addition, market players have focused on winning contracts and agreements to compete globally.

The anticipated global demand for construction equipment is a major driving factor for this market. Various government programs and the ever-increasing need for new and upgraded structures are expanding the construction market's possibilities.

Increasing demand for renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines, also presents significant opportunities for autonomous mobile cranes. The advantage of the compact space of autonomous mobile cranes makes it easy to use in tight construction sites. Moreover, high torque rugged terrain cranes and off-road navigation capabilities are in great demand in the construction and mining industries due to these cranes' operational benefits and efficiencies. All these factors are responsible for the growth of the automated cranes business in future.


Limited Availability of Skilled Crane Operator and High Cost of Autonomous Cranes Inhibiting Market Growth

Manufacturing companies have been forced to hire people at higher wages due to the high demand for skilled workers, increasing labor costs. Organizations are severely understaffed, leading to team member overwork and job dissatisfaction. Moreover, the industrial landscape is evolving as smart technology-enabled cranes, such as autonomous and fully-automated cranes, are used, which is predicted to increase the demand for skilled, trained, and qualified people. To operate automated cranes effectively, these technologies require a skilled workforce. In April 2019, the unemployment rate in the U.S. declined by 3.6%, but the manufacturing index in the U.S. grew at a sluggish pace. These issues are projected to limit the worldwide market growth.

Furthermore, the initial cost of deploying automated cranes is high. Deploying advanced technologies such as computer vision, machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), and natural language processing technologies for automatic cranes requires a significant initial investment. Thus, all such parameters are hindering the growth of this market.


By Crane Type Analysis

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Static Crane Holds the Largest Market Share Owing to High Usage in Construction Industry

The market is bifurcated into static and mobile cranes based on crane type.

The static crane segment dominated the market with a revenue share of more than 55% in 2020. An autonomous fixed crane is expected to grow at 24.1% during the forecast period. The growth of static cranes is due to the higher adoption of stationary cranes in the maritime & offshore, mining & excavation, and construction sectors. Similarly, a fixed crane provides higher load capacity at greater heights.

The mobile crane segment is expected to emerge as the fastest-growing market segment during the forecast period due to increasing demand for mobile crane services in the construction & building sector and mining & excavation industry. Flexibility and mobility of mobile cranes and lower cost will drive the mobile crane segment market during the forecast period. The mobile crane segment accounted for a 42.40% market share in 2020.

By End-Use Analysis

Building & Construction Segment Holds the Largest Market Share

This market is divided into building & construction, marine & offshore, mining & excavation, and others based on end-use.

The building & construction segment occupies the largest market share in the market. The segment accounted for 37.40% in 2020. The construction industry has grown enormously over the last few decades. Residential and non-residential construction recorded strong growth in emerging and developed countries. As a result, the demand for various cranes is steadily increasing.

The marine & offshore segment will have high growth in 2020. The marine & offshore segment accounted for a 25.83 % market share in 2020. The segment will show positive change during the forecast period due to the high usage of static cranes in the marine & offshore sector. Moreover, the growth of the oil & gas sector worldwide supports the development of automated cranes. Hence, this segment will offer lucrative growth opportunities in the coming years.

The mining & excavation segment is projected to register a significant CAGR of 25.4 % during the forecast period. Demand for autonomous mobile cranes in mining & excavation is expected to rise. The growth of the mining industry in North America is augmenting the development of the market


North America Autonomous Cranes Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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The market in North America is accounted for USD 0.94 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 5.48 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 25.0% over the forecast period. North America will lead the market with a revenue share of over 34.26% in 2020. Growth is possible through marketing analytics tools and existing key players who have established a strong position in the market from the beginning. Additionally, government agencies, businesses, and third-party suppliers are mobilizing efforts to produce customer-oriented products that contribute to the region's growth. Increased demand, increased revenue, use of advanced technology, machinery, and programs that promote awareness of needs can significantly boost the market in North America.

APAC is projected to register a CAGR of 25.1% from 2021 to 2028. Asia-Pacific is expected to have higher demand over the forecast period due to its rapidly rising population. The region has been industrialized to a greater extent due to improvements in GDP per capita and infrastructure development, converting rural areas into urban areas. Cities have fallen into unsustainable consumption models due to the unexpected spike in demand. The region is home to the essential players in the Asia Pacific market.

Europe is anticipated to increase automated cranes demand over the projection period. The market in Europe is expected to increase at a CAGR of 25.5% during the forecast period. An increasing number of construction projects in Europe will help drive the Europe market in future. The construction in terms of transport upgrade is also gaining momentum in Europe.

The rest of the world accounted for an 8.45% market share due to low technology adoption. However, it is expected to grow in the future at a CAGR of 20.5%. South Africa and the Middle East will grow steadily. Latin America will increase significantly as small manufacturers seek to capture a significant portion of their demand.


Agreements and Contracts with Major Players and Strong Focus on R&D Efforts to Boost Market Share

Several major players dominate the cranes market. These players have benefited from the surge in demand for reliable cranes from the major construction, mining, and industrial sectors. Large companies in the region have invested heavily in researching and developing new products delivering cranes worldwide. Many companies are also actively involved in strengthening their position by focusing on various growth strategies such as M&A, partnerships, and collaborations. For instance, in March 2020, Konecranes delivered a mobile port crane to Terneuzen in the Netherlands in the spring and the second unit to Antwerp, Belgium in mid-2020.


  • AIDrivers Ltd (London, England)

  • Cargotec Corporation (Helsinki, Finland)

  • Columbus McKinnon (Getzville, NY, U.S.)

  • INTSITE Ltd. (Haifa, Israel)

  • Komatsu Ltd (Tokyo, Japan)

  • Konecranes Plc (Hyvinkää, Finland)

  • Schneider Electric (Rueil-Malmaison, France)

  • SMIE (Virginia, U.S.)

  • Syracuse (Syracuse, NY. U.S)

  • VOCA (Washington, D.C, U.S.)


  • May 2020Flinders Port Holdings (Flinders) has ordered a Konecranes Gottwald Model 6 Mobile Harbor Crane for its Flinders Logistics subsidiary in Port Adelaide, South Australia. The crane will boost bulk materials and cargo handling services when delivered in August 2020.

  • January 2020-Libero BauMaschinen GmbH & Co.KG has been acquired by Liebherr International. Liebherr will take over Libero's existing sales and service network as part of the acquisition and integrate it into Liebherr's business services.

  • June 2021-AIdrivers announced a partnership with Largo Robotics, a Turkish company working on the next generation of autonomous electric vehicles. The supplier of automated cranes will be focusing on the development of electric cranes shortly.


An Infographic Representation of Autonomous Cranes Market

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The autonomous cranes market research report provides a detailed market analysis. It focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, product types, leading product applications, company profiles, and competitive landscape. Besides this, the report offers insights into the key market trends and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the factors above, the report encompasses several factors contributing to the market growth in recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion)


By Crane Type

  • Static Crane

  • Mobile Crane

By End-Use

  • Building & Construction

  • Marine & Offshore

  • Mining & Excavation

  • Others

By Geography

  • North America (By Crane Type, By End-Use)

    • U.S. (By Crane Type)

    • Canada (By Crane Type)

    • Mexico (By Crane Type)

  • Europe (By Crane Type, By End-Use)

    • U.K. (By Crane Type)

    • Germany (By Crane Type)

    • France (By Crane Type)

    • Rest of Europe (By Crane Type)

  • Asia-Pacific (By Crane Type, By End-Use)

    • China (By Crane Type)

    • Japan (By Crane Type)

    • India (By Crane Type)

    • Rest of APAC (By Crane Type)

  • Rest of the World (By Crane Type, By End-Use)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was at USD 2.75 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 15.66 billion by 2028.

In 2020, North America stood at USD 0.94 billion.

The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 24.70% and exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).

The building & construction segment is the leading segment in this market.

Government initiatives for smart cities and rising construction and renovation activities will be the driving factors for market growth.

AIDrivers Ltd, INTSITE Ltd, and Konecranes PLC are the major players in the market.

North America dominated the market share in 2020.

Government initiatives for smart cities and the adoption of advanced technologies will be the driving factors for market growth.

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