Oresund meets expectations?

06 May 2008

Countries in Scandinavia have been cited as strong markets by most of the manufacturers spoken to for this feature. When the Oresund Crossing opened in July 2000, linking Copenhagen in Denmark with Malmo in Sweden, there were expectations that it would have an enormous impact on business in the area, writes Murray Pollok. Four and a half years later, has the presence of the fixed link had a big impact on crane rental?

Magnus Jonsson, southern Sweden manager for Lambertsson Sverige's crane rental division, for example, plays down its significance. He says that they have rented some tower cranes in Sweden – and currently Lambertsson has several flat top towers working at Copenhagen's international airport. Lambertsson has also done some re-rental projects in Copenhagen, but there has not been a sudden opening up of the two markets.

“Everybody thought the bridge would change everything quickly”, Jonsson says, referring to the general public perception, “It will happen, but it will take 10, 15 or 20 years.” He also thinks it will depend on what happens in Denmark, and points out that although there are few signs of Danish rental companies entering the Swedish crane rental market to date, there has not yet been a recession in Denmark that might prompt more interest.

There may not have been a great influx of Danish cranes into Sweden, but one company, Copenhagen-based BMS, is certainly exploiting the new link and has recently invested further in the market by acquiring a small Swedish crane rental company TP Kranar based in Helsingborg that has a fleet of five mobile cranes.

BMS managing director, Søren Jansen, said that his business in southern Sweden has increased by around 15 % since the bridge opened, and the new acquisition, which will retain the TP branding, will make it easier to get further work; “A Swede has to negotiate with a Swede”, he says.

More generally, Jansen says the bridge has made it as easy to go 30 km into Sweden as it is to travel 30 km in Denmark, and it makes southern Sweden part of his home market.

Whatever their views, both companies will no doubt be happy with the fact that a major 15-20 km rail link is to be built from Malmö city centre direct to the entrance of the crossing. It will bring plenty of crane work, and they have the Oresund crossing to thank for that.

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