For the first time ever, we hosted an event in North America, and what better backdrop than the iconic skyline of Chicago from the rooftop of our...
CONEXPO-CON/AGG is North America's largest construction trade show and took place in Las Vegas, NV last week from March 14-18th.
At ConExpo in Las Vegas, a lot of new technology and construction equipment were displayed by 2,400 exhibitors, with a record-breaking 139,000 visitors in attendance. Members of our team had the opportunity to attend, see the incredible exhibitors and engage in lots of great conversations with industry leaders and customers.
Although there was a wide range of new developments displayed at the largest construction tradeshow of the year, a few significant takeaways and common themes surfaced.
Telematics and AI are helping drive sustainability forward
We are all well aware that AI and telematics are on quite the rise this year.
ConExpo not only featured telematics systems that could access data from various equipment manufacturers, but almost all of them also included information about a project's carbon footprint.
Through telematics, construction companies can gather real-time data on equipment location, usage, and performance, allowing them to monitor fuel consumption, reduce idle time, and optimize maintenance schedules to minimize environmental impact.
This year alone, we have seen how AI has the ability to greatly improve processes and operations. At ConExpo, we were able to get a glimpse into a future where AI interacts with Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the actual construction equipment itself on the site.
AI can help identify areas where sustainability can be improved by analyzing data on energy usage, carbon emissions, and other factors, and making recommendations for more efficient and sustainable practices. These technologies are helping construction companies reduce their environmental footprint while also improving their bottom line.
Diesel alternatives are expanding
Several manufacturers showcased new models of electrically powered construction equipment at the event, indicating the continuing momentum of this technology. However, there was also a notable interest in combustion engines that can run on alternative fuels, with several such models on display. Additionally, the tradeshow featured new hybrid offerings that generated a significant amount of interest among attendees.
Electric-powered equipment is gaining traction in the construction industry, with new models and improved battery technology making it a viable option for a growing number of applications. Through the embracing of diesel alternatives, construction companies can not only reduce their environmental impact but also greatly benefit from lower fuel costs and improved equipment efficiency.
Perhaps in ConExpo 2026, contractors could simply use their phones and access real-time data on the cost per unit of material moved by each piece of equipment and the carbon emissions of all the machines on the site.
Manufacturers are restructuring their supply chains
Several manufacturers of construction equipment have re-examined their production strategies and locations following three years of supply chain disturbances, largely attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During ConExpo 2023, John Garrison, the CEO and president of Terex, revealed that the company would relocate the production lines for its Genie access equipment brand to a new facility in Monterrey, Mexico later this year. This move will involve shifting the production of several scissor lifts currently made in China, as well as some vertical mast lifts from its Redmond, WA facility. Ultimately, Terex plans to manufacture all of its telehandlers at the new plant.
Gap closing between local and foreign OEMs
Another key takeaway that we gathered from conversations and exhibitors at ConExpo 2023 is that local OEMs are facing tough competition from Asian and overseas manufacturers who are rapidly expanding their market presence. These foreign players are offering high-quality equipment at competitive prices, which is narrowing the gap between local and foreign OEMs. Consequently, local manufacturers are under increased pressure to improve their product offerings and further strengthen their customer loyalty to remain competitive in the market.
Several executives shared their amazement at how far overseas OEMs have come, and how quickly they are catching up with local players. Local OEMs, however, have the great advantage of decades of customer relationships which they will need to foster and expand on using advanced customer care programs and increased levels of service innovation.
We are very grateful for the opportunity to attend ConExpo 2023 and are already looking forward to the 2026 show.
Learn more about ConExpo by visiting their site here.