Growth strategy spurs Daifuku
By Ben Vogel
A glance at individual airport rankings reveals the growing influence of Asia in civil aviation.
While Atlanta Hartsfield remains the world's busiest hub by passenger traffic (a ranking it has held since 1998), Beijing Capital International Airport is expected to overtake it in 2012 - and a new international airport at Daxing, south of Beijing, could have up to nine runways and ultimate capacity to handle 135 million passengers per annum. This would increase capacity at Beijing area airports to almost a quarter of a billion travellers. Elsewhere in Asia, the major cities in India require new airports as traffic in the high-growth market is set to treble to 450 million by 2020, making it the world's third largest aviation market after the US and China.
Companies such as Daifuku appear well placed strategically and geographically to take advantage of the growing influence of Asian aviation, but the Japanese conglomerate also eyes airport baggage-handling system (BHS) opportunities further afield - its Material Handling and Beyond business strategy has led to the acquisition of US-based Jervis B Webb (2007) and Elite Line Services (2012), as well as Logan Teleflex of the UK in 2011.
Daifuku today accounts for around 15 per cent of the global BHS market, estimated Hiroshi Shirako, general manager for airport baggage-handling sales and market development. "Our estimation of the global market is around JPY100 billion [USD1.2 billion]. Our current target is to increase orders and market share around the world. At this moment we are not looking to acquire more BHS companies."
However, even Asian companies with a diversified global presence are not immune from economic pressures - and it appears that airport capital investment projects are under close scrutiny.282 of 1239 words
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