Ground Support Equipment Players Focus on Technology for Market Growth
Ground support equipment refers to the maintenance and service equipment used at an airport to sustain aeronautical operations as well as related activities. Operating players in the market continually invest in research and development (R&D) for the incorporation of management solutions and advanced telematics. Moreover, the inclusion of RFID technologies, combined with connected services, provides ground service handlers and airliners with real-time insights and updates on cargo handling and vehicle activities’ status.
According to Inkwood Research, the global ground support equipment market is estimated to record a CAGR of 11.42% between 2022 and 2030. Aspects facilitating the market’s growth include surging air traffic, the increasing construction of airports & terminals, and the anticipated growth in the number of air travelers. However, in addition to challenges such as high initial investments as well as maintenance and replacement issues, the market was adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well.
Ground Support Equipment (GSE) Market Key Drivers
- E-Commerce’s Influence on the Expansion of Airport Operations
In the present market scenario, online shoppers are buying more, and more often, with cross-border e-commerce volumes continually rising. Since an airplane is relatively faster compared to other modes of transportation, air cargo was naturally suited to counter-balance logistic challenges. In this regard, according to the IATA, e-commerce represented up to 15% of air cargo volumes in December 2019. While the numbers continue increasing, the trend fast-tracked during and following the COVID-19 pandemic.
E-commerce is also a prospective growth driver for the air cargo sector since online shopping bolsters the demand for parcel delivery services, globally. With the introduction of same-day domestic delivery and 72 hours for international shipping by major online retaining companies, operating models were revolutionized in order to accelerate transportation. For instance, the rapidly expanding e-commerce industry and assurances of 1- and 2-day deliveries have generated a significant demand for ground service equipment across North America, thus propelling the regional market’s growth.
- Integration of Wireless Technologies
The efficacy of airport operations is strongly influenced by the use of ground support equipment. Moreover, the emerging use of wireless technologies in ground support equipment is anticipated to offer lucrative growth opportunities within the global market over the forecast period. Also, the introduction of wireless technology enables real-time monitoring of ground support equipment, thus playing a vital role in increasing the reliability of operations.
On the other hand, the development of fleet telematics facilitates the process of tracking and maintaining ground support by accessing the equipment’s digital records. Aligning with this, AIR+MAK Industries Inc manufactures reliable and state-of-the-art technology based on digital ground support equipment. The company caters to numerous aircraft ground handling requirements for both civil as well as military aviation.
Similarly, some of the major companies operating in the global ground support equipment market are Textron Ground Support Equipment Inc, Champion GSE, Rheinmetall AG, Charlatte America, and Mulag Fahrzeugwerk, among others.
Market Impact & Prospects amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
The novel coronavirus pandemic had an adverse impact on the airport industry; a sector on which the ground support equipment market primarily relies. Furthermore, the delivery, production, and installation schedules of ground support equipment were deeply affected, resulting in decreased revenue. While travel restrictions curbed tourism and affected the revenue generation of airports, the intense cash crunch and inability to estimate future trends due to the pandemic further declined investments in the market.
Cargo operations, however, depicted a level of relief to the industry. The demand for cargo operations remained strong and resilient, given the growing need for the delivery of vaccines, essential medication, and equipment to areas affected by the pandemic. Likewise, since passenger flights were canceled, the costs of transporting cargo via air changed drastically. For instance, the price of sending cargo across the Pacific Ocean increased by up to three times in March 2020. In contrast, the COVID-19 pandemic had minimal impact on the market’s defense sector, owing to the industry’s critical nature.
What are the key applications of military cargo services?
Military cargo service deals with the adoption of ground support equipment within military aircraft utilized to carry and transport cargo (freight) from one location to another. Some of the major ground support equipment used in military cargo aircraft includes cargo loaders like pushback tugs, military cargo loaders, and airborne loaders.
What are the developments in environmental-friendly ground support equipment solutions?
The use of greener technology and solutions across the aviation industry entails a larger approach within ground support equipment operations in order to minimize CO2 emissions. This primarily includes the equipment as well as tactical strategies to lower pollution emitted into the atmosphere. In addition, fleet management tracking solutions and the use of electric-powered vehicles and systems also observe a growing trend in terms of adopting environmental-friendly ground support equipment solutions.