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The global narcotics scanner market size was USD 6.20 billion in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unmatched and staggering, with narcotics scanners witnessing a low demand across all the regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a low growth of 1.3% in 2020 compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The market is projected to grow from USD 6.32 billion in 2021 to USD 9.92 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 6.64% in the 2021-2028 period.
A narcotics scanner is a programmed security device to detect contraband drugs and other hazardous substances. This device utilizes a mass spectrometer or AI-powered detection algorithms to detect narcotics and avoid trafficking or the entrance of prohibited materials into a sovereign state or country. Nowadays, the worldwide fight against illegal drugs and other hazardous materials has been embattled by various organizations, such as border and customs control agencies, airports, ports, courier services, and prison authorities. The growing cargo trade by air and sea has given a new lease of life worldwide to narcotics and weapon trafficking activities. This factor has led to an increase in the demand and adoption of these scanners to prevent illicit activities and enhance security.
Decreased Air Passenger Traffic and Cargo Transportation amid COVID-19 to Decline Growth
The pandemic situation has resulted in restrictions on international trade activities and traveling. The disruption that occurred in the logistics and transportation industry due to the COVID-19 outbreak has created a moderate impact on unauthorized drug transportation worldwide.
The decrease in drug smuggling activities has resulted in reduced demand for narcotics scanners in 2020 compared to 2019. In addition to this, the contraction in drug demand has been witnessed due to decreased opium drug production. Low production has created a huge impact on the drug use count. Moreover, reduced air passenger traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic has decreased the demand for new airport scanners.
However, the increasing focus on improving security at public transportation to prevent illicit acts is expected to overcome the pandemic's impact on the narcotics scanner market at a higher speed during the forecast period.
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Technological Advancement in Narcotics Scanning System to Propel Market Potentiality
In recent years, there is an enormous growth in the production and distribution of illegal drugs. The surging violation of drug control acts worldwide would drive the demand for advanced narcotics scanning systems and software with high accuracy and faster screening capability.
Key scanner manufacturers and R&D teams mainly focus on developing portable, pocket-sized, mobile narcotics scanners with real-time data detection and user-friendly data analysis software. These key players are also focusing on adopting advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), dual sensor technology, image processing, and X-ray technologies to enhance product performance.
Rising Transnational Crimes across the World to Surge Demand for Narcotics Scanners
In recent years, the transnational crime rate has highly increased in developed and developing countries. The international crimes covered several of them, such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, counterfeiting, and weapons trafficking. Among these, counterfeiting and drug trafficking crimes account for large revenue generation. According to the Global Financial Integrity Organization, the transnational crimes business is valued at around USD 1.6 trillion to USD 2.2 trillion annually.
Moreover, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC’s) world drug report released in 2020, 269 million people worldwide had used drugs in 2018. The number of drug users has increased by 30% compared to 2009. As the number of drug users worldwide is increasing, the cultivation, trade, and consumption of opium, a synthetic drug, cannabis, heroin, and cocaine is also rising. This factor would lead to an increase in the demand for such scanners worldwide to prevent and reduce illicit drug flows.
Stringent Government Regulations to Control Illegal Drug Trade to Boost Market Growth
The constantly growing drug trafficking activities worldwide have increased the death count and the number of people who suffer from drug use disorder. According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and the Global Burden of Disease Study, the death reported due to the overdoses of opioids was 109,520 during 1990-2017. They have also estimated that the number of deaths will increase at a rapid pace in the upcoming years.
Moreover, around 35.6 million people worldwide suffer from illicit drug use disorder, as per the recent World Drug Report. The United Nations Office published this report on Drugs and Crime in 2020. Therefore, the government has imposed several rules and regulations to reduce the illegal drug trade, drug production and consumption, and death caused due to drug overdoses. In addition to this, the rising investment to control illegitimate drug activities is expected to support the market growth during the forecast period.
The improvement in the public transport security infrastructure backed by government investments, supportive market programs, and regulations would contribute to the market growth.
Substitutes Such as Drones and Robotics for Drug Trafficking is a Major Challenge for the Market
The demand for drones is on the rise across multiple end-use industries worldwide. The rising adoption of drones, in turn, increases the illegal activities associated with them. Nowadays, a drone is the trending method for narcotics drug trafficking across the U.S.- Mexico border and India and other developing and developed countries. In December 2020, Punjab police arrested two people for using a drone for cross-border trafficking of weapons and narcotics. Therefore, the rising use of a drone for violating drug control status is a major challenge for key market players. This factor is expected to create a hindrance in the market growth.
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Fixed Scanner Segment Dominated Market in 2020
Based on the product, the market is divided into handheld/portable scanners, fixed scanners, and walkthrough scanners.
The handheld/portable scanner segment is projected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period. This growth is due to the rising demand for lightweight, user-friendly, and portable scanners from several end-users, such as law enforcement, the police force, malls, and customs departments. Handheld scanners are widely used at checkpoints or during screening.
The fixed scanner segment held a significant narcotics scanner market share in 2020. This large share is attributed to the increased adoption of scanners for baggage, cargo, and vehicle screening applications. The continuously expanding logistics and transportation industry worldwide is expected to support the market growth during the forecast period.
The walkthrough scanner segment registered the second-highest share in the base years due to the increased number of international and domestic travelers globally. With the growing traveler count, the demand for walkthrough narcotics scanners is also increasing for passenger screening.
Contraband Detection Equipment Segment to Grow at Faster Pace during Forecast Period
Based on technology, the market is classified into contraband detection equipment, infrared spectroscopy, ion mobility spectrum technology, and video scope inspection system.
The contraband technology segment is predicted to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period due to the surge in the demand for narcotics and contraband detection by the border, prison, law enforcement, and customs officers to control untheorized drug transportation. Contraband detection technology-based equipment offers the detection of drugs, drug traces, and explosives, and other hazardous material.
Growing Narcotics Drug Trade via Sea to Boost Demand for New Narcotics Scanner at Seaports
Based on the end-user, the market is divided into airport, seaport, railway terminal, law enforcement, defense & military, and others.
The airport end-user segment is expected to dominate the market during the forecast period. Airport authorities invested a significant amount in the regular maintenance and procurement of security systems. Therefore, the exponential growth in air passenger traffic and the development of new airports in emerging countries are anticipated to boost the adoption of narcotics scanners for airport security. In addition to this, the growing air cargo trade would also increase the demand for advanced scanner systems for a quick inspection.
The seaport end-user segment is anticipated to grow at a high CAGR throughout the forecast period. The growing adoption of sea routes for drug smuggling due to stringent airport regulations is expected to increase the installation of new scanners to enhance seaport security. Smiths Detection Group Ltd., for instance, has designed a Gantry inspection system called HCVG X-ray system. This system utilizes a single scan to inspect a complete cargo-loaded vehicle for a threat, such as narcotics, contraband, weapons, and explosives. It is mainly designed to be used at maritime ports, border crossings, and airports.
Moreover, the demand for these scanners also increased to enhance security at railway terminals, government buildings, country, state, district border and checkpoints, law enforcement, sports club, malls, and public transportation, excluding airport, port, and railways.
North America Narcotics Scanner Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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The global narcotics scanner market is segmented into regions, namely, North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the rest of the world.
North America stood at USD 2.55 billion in 2020 and is expected to dominate the market owing to the highest drug use in the region. Countries in North America, such as the U.S. and Mexico, have observed and reported the most increased illegal drug use activities. According to the UNODC's World Drug Report 2019, North America has been declared the topmost region with the highest use of opioids. Moreover, the U.S. reported 47,000 deaths in 2017 due to the overdose of an opioid. Therefore, to reduce deaths due to drug overdose, the adoption of these scanners has increased in North America.
Asia Pacific registered the second-highest share in the base year and is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The rising illicit drug production and trade in Asia countries, such as China, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and others would help the region to grow. In 2017, Asia Pacific was accounted for around 90% of the total illicit opium produced. Afghanistan is the largest opium producer in the world. In addition to this, China and India are witnessing major sea trade and the development of new airports due to increased air passengers. Thus, the demand of scanners is rising to prevent narcotics transportation and the distribution of narcotics and improve public & cargo transportation security at various ports.
Furthermore, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia are some of the countries with stringent penalties for drug smuggling, which would lead to an increase in the adoption of narcotics drug scanning systems to further reinforce homeland security.
The market in Europe is anticipated to register a significant share in the market. The enacted stringent government regulation regarding illegal narcotics drug distribution is set to drive the market growth in Europe. The growing drug use activities in the U.K. and Northern Ireland are expected to boost the demand for such scanners during the forecast period.
The rest of the world is expected to witness the second-highest CAGR during the projection period. The growth is attributed to the spurring demand for narcotics scanners to reduce drug-related crimes in South America and the Middle East & Africa. Countries in South America, such as Colombia, Brazil, and Venezuela, are well known for the illegal distribution of cocaine through maritime routes. Thus, the demand for such scanners is increasing to strengthen seaport security.
Constant Product Innovation and Development Strategies Adopted by Smiths Detection Group Ltd. to Endure its Position
Smiths Detection Group Ltd. is a pioneer in developing advanced scanners for several end-users, such as airports, seaports, railway transportation, law enforcement, and military & defense. The constant investment in R&D activities, a large focus on product innovation, and long-term contracts with government and authorized bodies will support the company to withstand its market position.
The other key players involved in the market are focusing on adopting advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence to enhance the production of these scanners.
An Infographic Representation of Narcotics Scanner Market
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The global market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects, such as renowned manufacturers, products, demanding technologies, and end-users. Moreover, it offers insights into the market trends and highlights key narcotics scanner industry statistics and developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the market research report encompasses several direct and indirect factors that have contributed to the market's growth over recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
Product; Technology; End-User and Geography
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 6.20 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 9.92 billion by 2028.
Registering a CAGR of 6.64%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2021-2028).
The seaport end-user segment is the leading segment in the market.
Smiths Detection Inc. and OSI Systems Inc. are the leading players in the global market.
North America dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.
Passenger screening, baggage screening, cargo screening, and vehicle screening are the major applications of this scanner.
Heroin, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, opium, synthetic drugs, opioids, and other substances can be detected by using this scanner.
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