The Netherlands: IADC’s Dredging in Figures 2009 Available Now

The dredging industry provides essential support services to ports, harbours, developers, the offshore industry, and environmental and other groups involved in maritime construction.

Without the innovative technology of the dredging industry, many of these projects would not be realised. In an effort to quantify this information, and as part of its role to inform the public and other interested parties, the IADC prepares an annual evaluation of the economic data and drivers of dredging.

The present review of the global dredging market focuses on the situation in 2009 and was published in October 2010. IADC is always very thorough and precise in estimating the dredging turnover. By verification of data, this document is continuously being improved. In 2009 the conclusion was that the turnover in the industry grew by an estimated 7%. However, due to suspected incomplete data in previous years, this growth may have been an overstatement.

Maritime Solutions for a Changing World

Over the last few years, the world has changed dramatically. The global economic outlook has deteriorated and an immediate broad scale recovery is not foreseen. However, innovations and solution-oriented approaches have resulted in a small growth for the industry and a record number of dredging projects executed in 2009.

Although the turnover in the near future is uncertain and Dredging in Figures does not provide a specific outlook, what is apparent is that as a remedy to the credit crunch, in 2008 governments intended to invest heavily in infrastructure, and some did. However, as liquidity became a serious problem and governments faced huge budget deficits, more prudent financial policies emerged and several investment decisions were postponed or cancelled.

To what extent this will influence the activity level in the dredging industry in the immediate future is not clear. In the long term, however, according to international institutions such as IMF, OECD, UNCTAD and others, the drivers of dredging show a positive development. This 2009 review analyses the development of the different industry drivers, the capacity figures for the main dredging equipment as well as the market turnovers specified in different regions and in types of projects.

The estimated total turnover of global dredging contractors – private as well as state- or port-owned companies – is estimated at €10,933 mln for 20091. Dredging in Figures 2009 is now available on the website of the International Association of Dredging Companies (IADC) The information is free of charge and can be easily downloaded. It is also attached here as a PDF for your convenience.

What drives Dredging?

Dredging is vital to social and economic development, in particular to the construction and maintenance of much of the infrastructure upon which our economic prosperity and social and environmental well-being depends. Dredging can be characterised as a capital-intensive industry requiring in depth contracting knowledge.

Its impact for an economy is therefore far larger than its effect on direct employment or industry turnover. The world population depends heavily on dredging solutions for global trade, coastal defence, urban development, energy supplies and leisure/tourism.

The estimated total turnover of global dredging contractors – private as well as state- or portowned companies – is estimated at €10.933 mln for 20091. The graph below shows the composition of this turnover for 2009:


Dredging is ‘building within nature’. This means that understanding the integration with the environment and incorporating working methods to mitigate adverse effects are an integrated part of every dredging project. The work related to such environmental aspects cannot be isolated out the total amount of work.

Cleaning up contaminated soil is frequently related to capital dredging projects. Within projects, adverse environmental impacts are mitigated or compensated. Sometimes, creating additional nature or habitats is not only a compensation measure, but enhances tourism and urban development. In the right hands and done properly, dredging creates a positive synergy between ecology and socio-economic development.


Source: iadc, October 14, 2010