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Japan Construction Equipment Rental Market - Outlook and Forecast 2023-2029
The Japan construction equipment rental market is projected to reach USD 7.98 billion by 2029, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.10% during the forecast period. To promote investments in new growth areas such as green and digital innovation, the country announced a USD 708 billion economic stimulus package. This investment also aims to support clean energy generation. The Kanto and Chubu regions are witnessing several ongoing renewable energy projects, which are expected to drive the demand for material handling equipment rentals in the Japanese construction equipment rental market.
In preparation for the Expo event scheduled for 2025, the Japanese government invested in the development of railways, airports, and expressways in 2022. With approximately 28 million visitors expected to attend the Expo, the government plans to extend railway lines across the country in 2023. Under the National Resilience Plan, the government will increase investments in maintaining aging infrastructures and developing expressways, which will contribute to the demand for the Japan construction equipment rental market. Renting construction equipment provides the advantage of avoiding high capital costs, expensive maintenance, and access to technologically advanced equipment.
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USD 6 billion in 2021
Type and End User
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The earthmoving segment dominates the Japan construction equipment rental market, accounting for 57.6% of the market share. Excavators hold the largest share within the earthmoving equipment category, representing 74.2% of the market. Investments in maintaining aging infrastructures, developing expressways, and disaster management projects in 2022 are expected to drive the demand for renting excavators.
In 2021, the Japanese government planned to invest USD 708 billion in economic recovery, focusing on public infrastructure and digital technology. Additionally, investments are allocated for the Expo 2025 in the Osaka region, as part of the government’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions by 46% by 2030.
The growing demand for goods in the global and domestic markets has contributed to the expansion of the logistics industry, thereby supporting the demand for used forklifts and telehandlers in the Japan construction equipment rental market. In 2021, Japan’s exports experienced a significant increase of 21.5%. To address labor shortages, the manufacturing industry has embraced robotics and automation, leading to an expected 2.4% growth in output in 2022.
The Japanese market is witnessing a rising demand for new-generation excavators equipped with information and communication technology (ICT) and remote monitoring capabilities. Due to skilled labor shortages and increasing accident cases at construction sites, there is a growing trend towards automated rental construction equipment in Japan.
Demand for hydraulic excavators with ICT technology also witnessed growth in the Japan construction equipment rental market in 2022. However, the industry is facing challenges related to rising costs of raw materials and logistics, which are expected to result in increased rental prices in 2023.
Japan is currently grappling with a shortage of young workers due to its aging population. The demand for digitalization across various industries, including the construction equipment rental market, is increasing as a means to improve efficiency. Leading rental company Nikken Corporation, for example, is promoting digitalization through online rental product ordering, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) for invoicing, parts ordering, and inspection of returned products. In 2022, rental companies witnessed a surge in registered users of their online rental systems.
In response to the aging infrastructure, the Japanese government has initiated investments in infrastructure renovation nationwide. These investments are also directed towards disaster prevention and mitigation, national resilience, and other public works. By 2033, nearly 63% of roads and bridges, 62% of flood barriers and river facilities, and over 40% of tunnels will be more than 50 years old, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism Japan. Consequently, the government is focusing on repairing and maintaining aging infrastructure.
Furthermore, the government plans to develop new buildings and infrastructure in the Tokyo, Kansai, and Kinki regions of Western Japan. In 2022, a USD 490 million fund was allocated for the Tokyo Municipal Project plan for the Shinjuku station, with the renovation projects expected to improve passenger navigation and be completed by 2047. Construction projects are currently underway in preparation for the upcoming international event Expo 2025, which is anticipated to stimulate the Japanese economy. The government has allocated over USD 1.4 billion for construction projects related to Expo 2025.
The Japanese government has committed USD 113.8 billion towards accelerating emergency measures as part of a national resilience plan aimed at preventing and mitigating the impact of natural disasters. This five-year plan, which began in 2021 with an initial funding of USD 9.1 billion, encompasses 123 disaster reduction projects targeting severe storms, flood damage, and large earthquakes.
Under the national policy, flood disaster prevention measures will be implemented to manage river basins, reinforce structures such as embankments, and carry out river channel excavation. The policy also focuses on controlling landslides and embankment measures. In addition, there are plans to promote digital transformation in port and harbor construction by 2025 through the implementation of information and communication technology (ICT). The government has also accelerated projects to expand expressways to four lanes in 2022, with the aim of connecting all 200 roads by 2041, eliminating 30% of the missing links.
The shortage of skilled labor poses a significant challenge for the Japanese government. According to the Japan Federation of Construction Contractors, the number of competent construction workers in Japan is projected to decline by 1.28 million by 2025 due to the aging population. Approximately 35% of labor in the construction industry is aged 55 or older, resulting in reduced productivity. Strict immigration policies limit the influx of foreign laborers. The government has identified 14 sectors, including construction manufacturing, agriculture, and shipbuilding, where labor shortages are expected in the future. The manufacturing industry is particularly affected by severe labor shortages. However, in 2019, Japan introduced 49,900 industrial robots to address the labor shortage issue.
In 2023, major companies in the Japan construction equipment rental market, such as Kanamoto, Nishio Rent All, Aktio, and Nikken, have begun increasing rental fees for construction equipment. The industry faces challenges related to supply chain issues and rising logistics costs. Rental companies are investing in advanced technology construction equipment and incorporating digital technology into their services to enhance customer experience. These factors have contributed to the surge in construction equipment rental prices in the Japanese market. In addition, Komatsu raised its construction equipment prices by approximately 10% from January 2022 due to increased steel and logistics costs. Steel prices in the Japanese market saw a rise of over 32% in 2022.
The market is segmented based on various factors, including type and end user.
Segmentation by Type
Earthmoving Equipment – Excavator, Backhoe Loaders, Motor Graders, Other Earthmoving Equipment (Other loaders, Bulldozers, Trenchers)
Material Handling Equipment – Crane, Forklift & Telescopic Handlers, Aerial Platforms (Articulated Boom Lifts, Telescopic Boom lifts, Scissor lifts)
Road Construction Equipment – Road Rollers, Asphalt Pavers
Segmentation by End Users
Logistics & Warehouse
The Japan logistics and warehouse sector is poised for positive growth due to the increasing prominence of the e-commerce industry and investments in warehouse expansion. As a result, there is a projected rise in demand for rental forklifts and telehandlers in the market during the forecast period.
In Japan, the earthmoving rental equipment segment holds a significant share, accounting for 57.6% of the overall construction equipment rental market in 2022. This segment is estimated to reach $4,686.5 million by 2029, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.40%. Excavators and wheel loaders play a major role in this segment, as they are extensively used in construction and mining projects.
The construction industry is expected to witness substantial growth, driven by government investments in affordable housing, railways, and road development projects. Additional investments are planned for the development of airports and renewable energy projects. Rental construction equipment finds wide application in the construction industry, representing a share of 51.5% of the overall market in 2022. The value of this application is anticipated to reach $4,207.5 million by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 4.43%.
In 2022, the Japanese government announced plans to invest over $100 billion in the development and renovation of public and private buildings across the country. Notable construction projects, including the JR Kiowa Station redevelopment project in Tokyo, the construction of a commercial building in the Hirakata region, and the establishment of the Kobe Nagata Logistics centers aimed at improving logistics and storage facilities in the Kobe region, are expected to be completed by 2023.
Overall, the Japan logistics and warehouse sector is set to benefit from the growth in e-commerce, infrastructure development projects, and government investments, leading to increased demand for rental construction equipment and earthmoving rental equipment.
Prominent vendors in the Japan construction equipment rental market include Caterpillar, Volvo Construction Equipment, Liebherr, Komatsu, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Hyundai Construction Machinery, Kobelco, Kubota, and Sumitomo. These companies are well-known and have a significant presence in the market, offering a wide range of products.
Additionally, other notable vendors in the Japan construction equipment rental market are Toyota Material Handling, Yanmar, Takeuchi, Airman, SAKAI, and Tadano. Although they may have a smaller market share, these vendors play an important role in providing specialized equipment, catering to specific customer needs.
Among the prominent vendors, Caterpillar, Volvo Construction Equipment, Kubota, Hitachi Construction Machinery, and Komatsu stand out as leaders in the Japan construction equipment rental market. These companies have established themselves as industry leaders, commanding a substantial market share and offering a diverse portfolio of products.
On the other hand, vendors like Takeuchi, SAKAI, Airman, and Toyota Material Handling are considered niche players in the Japan construction equipment rental market. They focus on specific segments and offer a limited range of products, primarily catering to customers with a requirement for earthmoving equipment.
In 2021, Kobelco made a significant advancement by introducing information and communication technology (ICT)-enabled construction machinery equipped with a navigation system. This development addresses the region’s growing demand for advanced construction and mining projects, demonstrating Kobelco’s commitment to innovation in the market.
Key Questions Answered
How large is the construction equipment rental market in Japan?
The construction equipment rental market in Japan was valued at USD 6.02 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 7.98 billion by 2029.
What is the growth rate of the construction equipment rental market in Japan?
The construction equipment rental market in Japan is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.10% from 2022 to 2029.
Which are the major rental companies in the construction equipment rental market in Japan?
Prominent rental companies in the construction equipment rental market in Japan include AKTIO Corporation, Kanomoto, Nishio, Nikken Corporation, Taiyo Kenki Rental, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Komatsu, and Rent Corporation.
What are the key trends observed in the construction equipment rental market in Japan?
The key trends observed in the construction equipment rental market in Japan are the digitalization of the industry and a significant increase in demand for renting electric construction equipment.
Who are the key players in the construction equipment rental market in Japan?
The key players in the construction equipment rental market in Japan are Komatsu, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Kobelco, Caterpillar, Kubota, Volvo Construction Equipment, Liebherr, Hyundai Construction Machinery, and Sumitomo Heavy Industries.