Safety hooks, shackles and wire ropes in steel are among the products offered by suppliers in the region.
Shandong province’s marine hardware industry is still a relatively young sector, but suppliers agree it has a huge growth potential. Makers in the area already contribute 3 to 6 million tons of products, accounting for 1/5 of China’s total capacity for this line.
The province’s output and exports represent 1/5 of the nation’s aggregate, making it one of the top four sourcing centers overall after Liaoning, Jiangsu and Guangdong.
One of Shandong’s advantages is its geographic location, occupying about 1/6 of the country’s coastline. The presence of three major seaports with a collective throughput equivalent to 100 million tons helps increase demand for marine hardware such as hooks, shackles and wire ropes, and to a great extent serves as a ready market. The ports also facilitate the transport of materials and finished products.
The local government’s focus on sea transportation is further boosting the need for parts used in vessels and barges, thereby spurring demand for marine hardware. The province owns ships with a loading capacity reaching 2 million tons, and aims to raise it to 4 million tons by 2015. Investment in sea transportation is forecast to exceed $1 billion in the next two or three years.
About 2,000 suppliers constitute the hub in Shandong, mostly based in Qingdao, Jinan, Weihai, Zibo, Dongying and Zhaozhuang. The majority are small companies with fewer than 100 full-time employees. Their yearly output ranges from 1,000 to 1,500 tons.
About 25 percent of the manufacturing base comprises midsize makers that produce up to 10,000 tons worth of hardware. As many as 600 workers oversee daily operations.
The rest are large businesses capable of manufacturing more than 10,000 tons a year. Approximately 1 percent of their revenue is used in R&D.
Almost one-half of output in the line is shipped overseas or used by foreign companies operating in Shandong.
The major export destinations are Europe and North America, which collectively account for 60 percent of deliveries.
Makers will also target South America and Australia, with a combined yearly growth rate reaching 15 percent.
All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.
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