Manufacturers Scaling-up to Deliver High-grade Marine Fenders

Pneumatic fenders are emerging as low-cost and low-maintenance alternatives to conventional marine fenders. Their self-floating and long-lasting durability is gaining prominence in ship-to-ship (STS) transfers and ship-to-berthing (STB) operations. As such, manufacturers in the marine fender market are striving to develop technologies that support its easy-to-deploy and efficacious energy-absorption attributes.

The global marine fender market is estimated to grow from ~US$ 670 million in 2018 to ~US$ 880 million by 2027. Due to the high demand for minimum test and inspection procedures, manufacturers in the marine fender market are innovating on pneumatic fenders that solve the challenging issue of crude oil transfer between vessels. To avoid oil spill accidents, manufacturers in the marine fender market are developing robust fenders that meet the newly-introduced global safety standards.

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Newly-developed pneumatic fenders aid in the double/triple banking of large-project cargoes. The new trend of renting pneumatic fenders serves as a cost-efficient alternative for stakeholders in maritime transport, as these fenders are only deployed when required, unlike rubber fenders that are already installed.

marine fender market infographic

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New Developments Provide Economic Advantages to Manufacturers

Many developments in the marine fender market are contributing towards market growth. For instance, the development of synthetic rubber and its blend with natural rubber facilitate a better ratio between high energy absorption and reaction force. Manufacturers in the marine fender market are innovating on the performance of new materials that are likely to influence energy absorption and subsequent berthing forces. Also, increased focus on sustainable aspects such as re-use and recycling of components has emerged as a cost-effective option for manufacturers.

Other developments in the marine fender market, such as metal-skinning energy absorbers, act as a backup system for marine fenders. These new absorbers are an effective alternative to conventional elastic fenders. Metal-skinning energy absorbers protect berthing structures and provide economic advantages to manufacturers by reducing unplanned downtime that were earlier caused by elastic marine fenders. Increased research and development is being done to implement metal skinning mechanisms according to the various sizes of vessels and according to the skinning depth of the systems.

Review Assessments and Patenting Technology Revive Market Growth

Marine fenders play an important role in maritime infrastructure to protect ships and berth structures from damage. However, industry experts opine that, there is a growing need for extensive review of newly-developed fenders according to the new materials and technologies available in the market. The competitive landscape of the marine fender market is moderately fragmented. However, the expected moderate CAGR of ~3% can be of great concern to existing and emerging market players in the landscape.

New marine fenders are not completely obsolete, but do need improvements, as the data used for the design of these fenders is relatively outdated. That is why, existing and emerging manufacturers should focus on gathering more information related to the durability and sustainability, and run routine lifecycle assessments. Another aspect that could be a reason for the moderate growth rate of the marine fender market could be the loss of confidence from dockyards and ports, as many unscrupulous suppliers provide inferior-quality fenders in the name of established manufacturers. As such, manufacturers are overcoming this challenge by filing patents for their technology and systems.

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Global Marine Fender Market: Key Insights

  • The global marine fender market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of ~3% between 2019 and 2027, to reach a valuation of ~US$ 880 Mn by the year 2027.
  • In terms of fender, the rubber fender segment holds a prominent share of the global marine fender market, and is likely to gain share, owing to the high life expectancy of rubber fenders and availability of raw materials in adequate amount.
  • Based on component, the others segment held the largest share of the global marine fender market in 2018, as the segment comprises evaluation for the fender body and adjacent components such as chains and anchors.
  • On the basis of end use, the dockyard segment is anticipated expand significantly during the forecast period, owing to rise in investments for the expansion of port terminals to handle large amount of cargo at terminals.

Global Marine Fender Market: Drivers

The global marine fender market is expanding at a consistent pace, owing to stringency of port regulations and growth in international trade.

  • Expansion of seaborne trade is propelling the market for marine fenders. Global trade has expanded significantly over the past few years, thereby boosting and transforming the global economy completely. Currently, on a global scale, approximately 25% of total production is exported. Each year, over 11 billion tons of freight is transported worldwide by large ships and vessels.
  • Rise in trade due to industrialization and globalization has led to the expansion of existing vessel ports and harbors in order to maintain the cargo transportation process. Moreover, there is the development of new vessel terminals owing to growth in bilateral trade. Additionally, the emerging trend of leasing ports and their infrastructure development is also driving the demand for water freight transportation. Furthermore, the development of new ports and expansion of existing seaports are also projected to fuel the marine fender market during the forecast period.

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Global Marine Fender Market: Challenges

  • Marine fenders require periodic maintenance; however, the lifespan of a marine fender is significantly high. Thus, the demand for fenders is mainly dependent upon the expansion of terminals and vessels.
  • Marine fenders are highly durable. However, when rubber fenders come in contact with saline water, the quality of the rubber starts to deteriorate. Thus, there is high demand for foam fenders, owing to their high life expectancy in saline water.

Global Marine Fender Market: Key Segments

  • The global marine fender market has been segmented based on fender, component, manufacturing process, ownership, end use, and region.
  • Based on fender, the rubber segment is expected to hold a major share of the global marine fender market, owing to the high demand for cone and cell fenders. Moreover, cone and cell fenders are preferably used in most industries due to their high shear stress resistance capacity. However, rubber is a conventional material that is used for manufacturing marine fenders, and thus, the high popularity of this material is likely to drive market for rubber fenders.
  • In terms of component, the others segment dominated the marine fender market, as evaluation of the fender body and adjacent anchors and chains is part of the others segment. Mounting structure and face pads are used in limited kinds of marine fenders.
  • On the basis of manufacturing process, the molding segment is estimated to be the most prominent segment of the global marine fender market. Molding is used to manufacture marine fenders, and is preferred for the production of large marine fenders. Extrusion is mostly employed for manufacturing arc and D-fenders. Thus, this segment is expected to hold a nominal share as compared to other segments.
  • Based on ownership, the public segment is poised to account for a major share of the global marine fender market. Port terminals are owned by port authorities. Therefore, maintenance and development of infrastructure, which includes installation of marine fenders and their maintenance, is carried out by port authorities. Moreover, fenders installed on yachts are private-owned, and hence, the private segment holds a significant share of the global marine fender market.

Global Marine Fender Market: Regional Analysis

  • In terms of region, Asia Pacific held a leading share of the global marine fender market due to the availability of natural rubber in adequate amount in the region, and expansion of ports in the ASEAN region and China as a result of a rise in trade.
  • Moreover, Asia Pacific comprises developing economies that are focusing on strengthening their economies through international trade, thus investing large sums in port development, which is leading to the high demand for marine fenders in the region.

Global Marine Fender Market: Competition Landscape

Key players operating in the global marine fender market are

  • Bridgestone Corporation
  • J.C. MacElroy Company, Inc.
  • Lalizas Italia s.r.l.
  • Trelleborg Marine Systems
  • Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd.
  • Urethane Products Corporation.

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