IC Tower Index 2023: largest tower crane-owning companies

Nothing like last year’s dramatic double-digit rise in the IC Tower Index of the world’s largest tower crane-owning companies but a healthy one nonetheless. Alex Dahm reports

BKL assembling a Liebherr 340 EC-B flat top tower close to the famous Köln Cathedral in Germany. (Photo: BKL)

Following the table’s second highest increase ever last year, of 27 per cent, this year it is a much more modest single digit rise. As a more ‘normal’ rate of increase, it suggests a return to stability. Having said that, it might well still be considered a strong increase, especially in that it was still a rise over an unusually large one the previous year. I wonder if it could possibly be the last one this strong for a while.

The total IC Tower index for the top 20 companies is 8,597,720 tonne-metres, up 7 % from the 8,029,698 last year, itself almost a third higher than the 6,313,014 of 2021. This year’s total is close to three times that of the 2,757,133 total seven years ago in 2016.

Looking at the top five, the percentage increase is even higher, up 8.3 %, from 6,231,069 to 6,749,115. This year’s total for the top five is almost three times that of the 2,348,914 total of 2018, just five years ago. At 78 % the total for the top five is also more than three quarters of the entire top 20 company totals.

Looking at the other categories, the total number of cranes was really the same as last year, actually down by just three units, to 24,105. Perhaps owners had a post-covid clearout of old and-or knackered cranes. It was a far cry from last year’s 1,205-unit increase.

The only category clearly lower than last year is the number of employees. There are 683 fewer people employed at the top 20 companies than last year. It was a 3.8 % drop from 18,073 people to 17,390 this year. Notably, there was also a similarly sized drop, of 500 people last year, from the 2021 total of 18,581 people.

The number of depots among the top 20 companies is up by 43 % from 323 to 463, largely due to an increase at one company, Shanghai Pangyuan, possibly due to a different way of defining a depot.

In position

Less change is also evident this year in the company positions. At the very top NFT has retained its number one position with its huge fleet total capability of 3,325,000 tonne-metres. Its 12 % increase in capability this year extends its lead over second place Shanghai Pangyuan, up a more modest 6.75 %, to a total of 2,233,481. Last year NFT’s capability was 42 % more than Shanghai Pangyuan while this year it has increased that gap to 49 %.

The top seven companies are all the same as last year. Eight is Van Der Spek from the Netherlands and Belgium, up one place and swapping with Maxim from the USA, this year in ninth. Van der Spek increased its capability by 3,300 tonne-metres (equivalent to 10 smaller cranes or a couple of really big ones). Maxim reduced its total by 1,640 tonne-metres.

All the other top ten companies either increased or maintained the same Tower Index total. In the top 20 just three companies reduced their fleet totals over the last year. Of the 43 total number of companies entered in this year’s table just another four showed a decrease.

Rounding out the top ten once again is Neremat from Belgium, holding the same spot since 2016. Sante from Singapore is next, in 11th place again as it has been for the two previous years too.

Next is Marr Contracting from Australia, up one place in 12th. It expanded its fleet’s lifting capability by 10,165 tonne-metres, up 10 %, to give a 2023 total IC Tower Index total of 111,951 tonne-metres.

IC Tower Index

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 with previous years.

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 first half of 2024. If you’d like your company considered for inclusion please contact ICST for an application form. With more input and the inclusion of more companies we can help build a bigger picture of the global tower crane rental market.

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