At the June ERA convention in Berlin each of the association's four technical committees described the work they have completed over the past 12 months. The Statistics Committee grabbed the headlines by giving a preliminary estimate of the size of Europe's equipment rental market C 21,5 billion C but the committee also provided estimates for individual countries in the region that make interesting reading.

The committee has defined equipment rental as the rental of the following construction related products: earthmoving, concrete, compaction, energy, pumps, material handling, aerial platforms, cranes, scaffoldings, shoring, traffic safety, accommodation and hand tools. There are still questions to be answered about sectors such as mobile cranes and industrial forklift rentals.

In making preliminary estimates of rental revenue, the committee also had to make decisions on how to properly define rental revenue. This is what they decided:

Rental companies with less than 10% revenue in rental: excluded

Rental companies with between 10% and 65% revenue in rental: rental revenue only

Rental companies with more than 65% revenue in rental: total revenue

In addition, the committee has made estimates for each of 26 European countries, and a summary for a selection of 17 of these is given below. Note that figures given in italics (for example, Austria) is ‘best guess’, without a reliable industry source. All other statistics come from industry sources.

It has to be emphasised that these are ‘best estimate’ numbers. ERA has now engaged a specialist consultant, US-based Global Insight, to carry out a detailed survey of the rental market. The organisation is already experienced in the rental market, having carried out a similar exercise in North America for the American Rental Association (ARA).

ERA's statistics committee has set itself a timetable that will see a preliminary ‘Phase 1’ survey undertaken by Global Insight before the end of November this year, with the final ‘Phase 2’ full study completed by the time of the next convention in June 2008.

If you can help ERA or Global Insight with this work, then please contact Tim Whiteman, chairman of the ERA Statistical Committee and managing director of the International Powered Access Federation, through the ERA secretariat (details on this page). IRN

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