Horizon embarks on Asian rental expansion

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China’s largest equipment rental company, Horizon Construction Development, has begun to expand into South East Asia with planned rental locations in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore.

Horizon, which is part of Hong Kong-based Far East Horizon, will use the new sites to rent used aerial platforms from its main fleet in China as well as offering new power generators.

Photo showing aerial platforms in the fleet of Horizon Construction Development in China. Horizon Construction Development has a MEWP fleet of more than 160,000 units in China.

Speaking to IRN at the CeMat Asia and APEX Asia exhibitions in Shanghai at the end of October, Dailin Feng, general manager of Horizon’s sales business unit, said the aim was to create rental businesses using Horizon’s used fleet of aerial platforms, with one target market being major Chinese contractors working in the region.

Dailin said Horizon could open as many as 20 to 30 new rental locations in South East Asia in 2024. The company already sells around 2000 used AWPs a year to customers in Asia and the Middle East.

The strategy - which mirrors that of the major Japanese rental businesses - reflects the growing maturity of Horizon’s rental business as well as the changing market situation in China. The last five years has seen remarkable growth in the Chinese AWP rental fleet, with resulting pressures on pricing and competition.

Horizon’s MEWP fleet alone has grown from around 115,000 units in mid-2022 to more than 160,000 by the middle of this year. Dailin said the pace of growth in the fleet would slow, with the likelihood of the fleet stabilising at between 170,000 and 200,000 units over the next few years.

Photo showing scagffolding by Hiorizon Construction Development. Horizon Construction Development holds more than 600 tonnes of scaffolding in its fleet. (Photo: Horizon)

In addition to its aerial platform fleet, Horizon also rents scaffolding and falsework and heavy-duty shoring products. In recent years it has added generating sets, using Atlas Copco and Cummins products up to 1350 kVA.

Photo of Dailin Feng, Horizon Construction Development Dailin Feng, general manager of the sales business unit at Horizon Construction Development. (Photo: IRN)

According to Dailin, Horizon will also start to look at additional new products to rent in China next year, including truck cranes and telehandlers.

Horizon, which was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in May this year – although still operating under holding company Far East Horizon – now has 415 outlets in almost 200 cities in China.

The company reported revenues up 28% to €1.06 billion in 2022, but is now seeing a slower pace of expansion, with revenues for the first six months of this year 18% higher than the same period in 2022.

Like other AWP rental companies in China, Horizon is experiencing pressure on rental prices (see article below). One rental manager in China told IRN that the monthly rental price for a 6 m electric scissor had almost halved over the past two years.

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