IC Tower Index 2022: largest tower crane-owning companies

An almost unprecedented increase this year in the IC Tower Index. Alex Dahm reports.

Only once before has the IC Tower Index experienced a bigger rise from one year to the next. In 2017 the Index was up by 29 per cent, the only year it has been higher than this year’s hefty 27 % increase.

Liebherr 280 HC-L 16/28 luffing jib crane building the 220 metre Hekla tower in La Défense, Paris, France Liebherr 280 HC-L 16/28 luffing jib crane building the 220 metre Hekla tower in La Défense, Paris, France. Photo: Liebherr

Looking at the Index totals instead of percentages, today’s total, of 8,029,698 tonne-metres, is well over double the total in 2017, showing just how far the index has come in the last five years.

Fleet increases

Just taking the top five companies, it is clear this is where the biggest increase is found – with the Index up 37 % from 4,541,242 in 2021 to 6,231,069 this year.

So, in the top 20 almost everything is up – more cranes (up by a healthy 5 %) and more depots (ok, just one more than last year). The number of employees is the only decrease, by around 500 people, to 18,073.

There are 1,205 more cranes this year among the top 20 companies than in 2021. Perhaps more were fleet additions this year rather than replacements.

Having said that, recent years have typically seen increases around double that number.

Top tower crane-owning companies

In terms of ranking, first there has been a swap at the top where last year’s number two, NFT from Abu Dhabi, has replaced China’s Pangyuan Machinery Rental in first place.

In addition to its usual extensive fleet renewal and expansion programme, NFT attributes its massive increase largely to the acquisition of some very large Yongmao heavy lift tower cranes with high maximum load moment ratings, from which the Index is calculated.

The switch took place even though the new number two also expanded its capability, by 10.5 %, over the previous year.

More consistency with the next three positions in the table as Liebherr, Uperio and Tat Hong follow in the same order and places as last year (and, for that matter, the year before too).

Liebherr has a smaller fleet than last year while Uperio, with two acquisitions in the last 12 months, has increased its capability by 11 %. Neither made a big enough addition to alter their rankings.

IC Tower Index 2022

The next change in the table is at 6th place, now occupied by Wolffkran having moved up one and exchanged with Morrow Equipment, now 7th.

The change is partly due to a 1.5 % increase in capability at Wolffkran but mostly because of a 14.4 % reduction at Morrow.

Outside the top ten

Moving down the table, from 8th to 11th place the companies are unchanged from last year (and the same as the year before too).

And that is even with increases in fleet capability of as much as 8 %, in the case of Neremat from Belgium. It replaced smaller cranes with larger ones in its 489-unit fleet and closed yards in Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

We welcome new entry Virtanen which is the Finnish tower crane arm of Lambertsson Tower Crane, in 22nd place, and Blue Hat Crane from the USA, in 35th place.

Two companies are missing this year, one of which is Compass Equipment from the USA, since June part of Uperio. In May Uperio also announced its acquisition of tower crane rental house LaurentKeller in France.

It is interesting to note the companies in the top 20 with lower totals than last year are Liebherr, Morrow, Wasel and Wilbert.

All the others have posted larger fleet capability totals. What do the people at these companies know that others don’t?

IC Tower Index
 Nokia Arena in Tampere, Finland Virtanen helped build the Nokia Arena in Tampere, Finland, using large Yongmao flat top tower cranes. Jib lengths ranged from 40 to 80 metres. Photo: Virtanen

Companies are ranked by their IC Tower Index, calculated as the total maximum load moment rating, in tonne-metres, of all tower cranes in a fleet.

Like last year we have included 25 companies in the IC Tower Index table but the calculations are all still done on the top 20, for consistency.

All companies in the list, plus other prospective ones, have the opportunity to supply fleet information and other data.

Where companies supply the full data the figure used is calculated by them. In cases of insolvency, acquisition or lack of sufficiently up to date information, companies are withdrawn from the table.

While we make great effort to ensure the accuracy of information provided, it cannot be guaranteed and International Cranes and Specialized Transport and its publisher, KHL Group, accept no liability for inaccuracies or omissions.

The IC Tower Crane Index will next be updated in the middle of 2023. If you’d like your company considered please contact ICST for an application form.

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