Increasing vessel capacities along with proliferating trade activities and freight traffic across inland waterways are expanding the global inland waterways vessels market size. The benefits offered by the vessels including cost effective and reliable transportation over long distances and congestion free cargo movement compared to the other modes of transportation, is further expanding the market size till 2024.
The emergence of vessels with integrated inner and outer hulls result in lower spills. Design innovations including double hulls and integration of advanced fleet management solution software contribute significantly towards reducing accidents and increasing operational efficiency, thereby supporting the global inland waterways vessels industry growth over the study timeframe.
Industry participants are focusing on introducing innovative technologies and improving the efficiencies of the vessels for increasing their market share. The introduction of advanced communication and navigation systems along with the integration of GPRS facilities allows easier and efficient transportation of people and goods is boosting the global inland waterways vessels market growth.
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Governments across the globe are actively supporting the global inland waterways vessels industry by introducing several port maintenance facilities, traffic management systems, and upgradation plans. For instance, Hamburg Port Authority is developing an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) that enables easier optimization of data interchange among the inland waterways vessels. This will enable easier loading and unloading of passenger and goods and reduce downtime significantly.
The rising costs associated with the maintenance and acquisition of the vessels along with stringent regulatory norms for operating these vessels, increased ship building and delivery times, and diversified climatic conditions may hamper the industry growth till 2024. However, higher returns on investments from these vessels will support the global inland waterways vessels market expansion over the forecast timeframe.
The global inland waterways vessels industry share from non-passenger vessels accounted for more than USD 1,385 billion in 2017. The dominance is credited to the increasing petrochemical shipments globally. The increasing usage of vessels for transportation of agricultural products and higher adoption of tugboats for ship movements is supporting the segment dominance. Passenger ships showcased a considerable growth rate of over 2% CAGR over the projected timeframe due to the proliferating tourism sector and increasing demand for cruise ships and yachts for leisure and recreation travel.
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The heavy fuel oil dominated the fuel segment with over 1,428,152 shipments in 2017. This dominance can be attributed to the wider fuel availability of the fuel and presence of multiple vessels operating on this fuel. The growing preference towards lower fuel emissions, increasing vessel efficiency and compliance to stringent government regulations is supporting the low sulfur fuel oil growth till 2024.
Asia Pacific accounted for the maximum revenue share of over 78% in 2017 owing to increasing freight traffic and improving waster channels across the region. The supporting government initiatives along with the presence of major industry players including Samsung Heavy Industries, Wisdom Marine, Sembcorp Marine, Hyundai Heavy Industries, and Ilshin Shipping are supporting the global inland waterways vessels market proliferation over the study timeframe.
The major industry participants in the global inland waterways vessels market place include: Sanmar, Bayliner, Sneed Shipbuilding, CMA CGM Group, and European Cruise Other notable participants include CIWTC, Windcat Work Boats, Norfolk Tug Company, Seacontractors, and DFDS. Industry participants are focused on expanding their portfolio with diversified specifications for gaining orders and increasing their market share over the forecast timeframe. For instance, in 2016, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) announced the procurement of 60 vessels in multiple tranches for facilitating transportation through inland waterways. These vessels were then leased to private organizations on an operate and maintenance (O&M) basis.