Top Surveying Equipment Exporters by Country

Land surveyor looking through transit courtesy of Pixabay.com

Survey/geospatial insights

Global sales for exported surveying equipment by country totaled US$9.4 billion in 2018. Overall the value of surveying equipment exports fell by an average -19.2% for all exporting countries since 2014 when total shipments of surveying equipment were valued at $11.7 billion. Year over year, exported surveying equipment rose 10.4% from 2017 to 2018.

Few people understand the technical equipment and technology behind critical land surveys that define the legal boundaries for their real estate properties. Yet history shows that many landowners have endured prolonged court battles and even intergenerational blood feuds over property lines. Land disputes can arise issues as mundane as misplaced fencing.

Hotly contested property battles are a key reason why surveying demands precise spatial measurements that must stand up in court.

Among continents, European countries sold the highest dollar worth of exported surveying equipment during 2018 with shipments valued at $3.8 billion or 40.9% of the global total. In second place 2016 were Asian equipment suppliers at 31.4% compared to 24.7% for competitors in North America. Smaller percentages came from Oceania (1.7%) led by Australia, Africa (0.9%) then Latin America (0.3%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.

The 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix is 9015 for surveying equipment, including products used for photogrammetrical surveying, hydrographic, oceanographic, hydrological and meteorological purposes.

Top Surveying Equipment Exporters by Country

Countries

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of survey equipment during 2018.

  1. United States: US$1.8 billion (19% of exported survey equipment)
  2. Germany: $858.7 million (9.1%)
  3. China: $760.5 million (8.1%)
  4. Singapore: $700.6 million (7.4%)
  5. United Kingdom: $552.7 million (5.9%)
  6. Canada: $505.4 million (5.4%)
  7. Switzerland: $472.9 million (5%)
  8. France: $367.4 million (3.9%)
  9. Hong Kong: $352.7 million (3.7%)
  10. Norway: $321.8 million (3.4%)
  11. Netherlands: $310.5 million (3.3%)
  12. United Arab Emirates: $299.2 million (3.2%)
  13. Japan: $206.4 million (2.2%)
  14. Austria: $165.4 million (1.8%)
  15. Malaysia: $154.8 million (1.6%)

By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 83% of global surveying equipment exports.

Four among the top survey equipment exporters grew their international sales since 2014, namely: Hong Kong (up 33.4%), Austria (up 32.3%), Switzerland (up 6%) and China (up 5%).

Those countries that posted declines in their exported survey equipment sales were led by: United Kingdom (down -53.5%), France (down -44%), Malaysia (down -33.1%), United States (down -31.9%) and United Arab Emirates (down -28.9%).

Advantages

The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for surveying equipment during 2018. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s exported survey equipment and its import purchases for that same commodity.

  1. United States: US$378.5 million (net export surplus down -68.1% since 2014)
  2. Germany: $337.9 million (down -21.9%)
  3. Switzerland: $262.6 million (up 21.2%)
  4. Canada: $232.9 million (up 51.2%)
  5. Singapore: $230.2 million (up 53.4%)
  6. United Kingdom: $143.1 million (down -69.4%)
  7. France: $130.9 million (down -66.8%)
  8. Hong Kong: $119.7 million (up 127.8%)
  9. Netherlands: $111.6 million (down -20.6%)
  10. Finland: $106.4 million (down -3.8%)
  11. Austria: $78.6 million (up 48.7%)
  12. Denmark: $61 million (up 152.5%)
  13. Italy: $44.5 million (reversing a -$14.2 million deficit)
  14. Malaysia: $44.3 million (reversing a -$30.7 million deficit)
  15. Sweden: $25.9 million (down -7.3%)

United States has the highest surplus in the international trade of survey equipment. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms America’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.

Opportunities

The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for surveying equipment during 2018. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s imported survey equipment purchases and its exports for that same commodity.

  1. Saudi Arabia: -US$153.9 million (net export deficit down -33.4% since 2014)
  2. United Arab Emirates: -$149.4 million (down -19.7%)
  3. Australia: -$111.3 million (down -31.7%)
  4. India: -$106.3 million (down -2.3%)
  5. South Korea: -$105.8 million (up 18.6%)
  6. Russia: -$105.2 million (down -63%)
  7. Indonesia: -$88.3 million (up 224%)
  8. Qatar: -$68.9 million (up 85.4%)
  9. Brazil: -$63.5 million (up 8.6%)
  10. Algeria: -$59 million (up 10.2%)
  11. Japan: -$56.7 million (reversing a $14.9 million surplus)
  12. Turkey: -$50.5 million (down -16.4%)
  13. Vietnam: -$49.8 million (up 49.9%)
  14. Kazakhstan: -$48 million (down -34.8%)
  15. Oman: -$44 million (down -31.1%)

Saudi Arabia incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of surveying equipment. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights Saudi’s strong competitive disadvantage for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for survey equipment-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful demand.

Companies

Survey Equipment Companies

Below are global survey equipment-processing conglomerates that represent established players that sell geospatial measurement apparatus and supporting materials internationally. Shown within parenthesis is the home country for each business.

The top two businesses, Bechtel and Larson Design Group, were reported on Point of Beginning’s list of top 100 geospatial companies.

  • Bechtel (United States)
  • Larson Design Group (United States)
  • Geo Industries Co Ltd (China)
  • Imajing (France)
  • Robert Bosch GmbH (Germany)
  • Sun Survey Systems (India)
  • Leica Geosystems (Switzerland)
  • Bathey Survey Markers, Inc (United Kingdom)
  • Datum Survey Products Ltd (United Kingdom)
  • Renishaw (United Kingdom)
  • Dunham & Morrow Inc (United States)
  • SECO (United States)

According to global trading platform Alibaba, the following firms are examples of surveying equipment providers. The home-country location for each business is shown within parentheses:

  • Shanghai Huace Navigation Technology Ltd (China)
  • STS Corporation (Japan)
  • EIE Instruments Private Limited (India)
  • Zhangfuying Inc (Hong Kong)
  • International Surveying Equipment Ltd (United States)
  • Surveying Systems (Pakistan)


 

Searchable List of Surveying Equipment Exporting Countries in 2018

You can change the presentation order by clicking the triangle icon at the top of the columns.

RankExporterSurvey Equipment Exports (US$)%Total
1.United States$1.8 billion19%
2.Germany$858.7 million9.1%
3.China$760.5 million8.1%
4.Singapore$700.6 million7.4%
5.United Kingdom$552.7 million5.9%
6.Canada$505.4 million5.4%
7.Switzerland$472.9 million5%
8.France$367.4 million3.9%
9.Hong Kong$352.7 million3.7%
10.Norway$321.8 million3.4%
11.Netherlands$310.5 million3.3%
12.United Arab Emirates$299.2 million3.2%
13.Japan$206.4 million2.2%
14.Austria$165.4 million1.8%
15.Malaysia$154.8 million1.6%
16.Australia$148.4 million1.6%
17.Finland$138.5 million1.5%
18.Italy$127.4 million1.4%
19.Sweden$125.9 million1.3%
20.Saudi Arabia$120.6 million1.3%
21.Denmark$116.7 million1.2%
22.India$94.5 million1%
23.Spain$61.7 million0.7%
24.Belgium$60.9 million0.6%
25.Kuwait$49.9 million0.5%
26.Russia$49.3 million0.5%
27.Taiwan$43.2 million0.5%
28.Thailand$40.8 million0.4%
29.Mexico$36.4 million0.4%
30.South Africa$27.9 million0.3%
31.Poland$26.8 million0.3%
32.Turkey$22.5 million0.2%
33.Portugal$19 million0.2%
34.Vietnam$14.2 million0.2%
35.Israel$14 million0.1%
36.Philippines$13.4 million0.1%
37.Angola$13.2 million0.1%
38.South Korea$12.9 million0.1%
39.New Zealand$11.6 million0.1%
40.Pakistan$11.6 million0.1%
41.Colombia$11.3 million0.1%
42.Ivory Coast$10.8 million0.1%
43.Czech Republic$9.7 million0.1%
44.Indonesia$9.1 million0.1%
45.Kenya$8.4 million0.1%
46.Kazakhstan$7.4 million0.1%
47.Estonia$6.9 million0.1%
48.Slovakia$6.7 million0.1%
49.Namibia$6.7 million0.1%
50.Romania$5.6 million0.1%
51.Bahrain$5.1 million0.1%
52.Myanmar (Burma)$5 million0.1%
53.Brunei Darussalam$4.9 million0.1%
54.Ireland$4.9 million0.1%
55.Brazil$4.7 million0.1%
56.Luxembourg$4.3 million0.05%
57.Lithuania$4.3 million0.05%
58.Iceland$4.1 million0.04%
59.Bulgaria$3.7 million0.04%
60.Chile$3.6 million0.04%
61.Azerbaijan$3.4 million0.04%
62.Greece$3.2 million0.03%
63.Tanzania$3 million0.03%
64.Slovenia$2.8 million0.03%
65.Sri Lanka$2.8 million0.03%
66.Malta$2.5 million0.03%
67.Bangladesh$2.3 million0.02%
68.Latvia$2.2 million0.02%
69.Algeria$2.1 million0.02%
70.Ecuador$2.1 million0.02%
71.Ukraine$2 million0.02%
72.Serbia$1.8 million0.02%
73.Uganda$1.8 million0.02%
74.Panama$1.8 million0.02%
75.Qatar$1.5 million0.02%
76.Peru$1.5 million0.02%
77.Belarus$1.4 million0.02%
78.Hungary$1.4 million0.02%
79.Morocco$1.4 million0.01%
80.Gibraltar$1.3 million0.01%
81.Bermuda$1.2 million0.01%
82.Trinidad/Tobago$1.2 million0.01%
83.Mauritius$1 million0.01%
84.Papua New Guinea$918,0000.01%
85.Cyprus$831,0000.01%
86.Suriname$791,0000.01%
87.Georgia$790,0000.01%
88.Belize$776,0000.01%
89.Jamaica$629,0000.01%
90.Sao Tome/Principe$558,0000.01%
91.Congo$552,0000.01%
92.Turkmenistan$547,0000.01%
93.Curaçao$538,0000.01%
94.Oman$498,0000.01%
95.Ghana$471,0000.01%
96.Croatia$418,0000.004%
97.Argentina$404,0000.004%
98.Togo$382,0000.004%
99.Senegal$360,0000.004%
100.Jordan$347,0000.004%
101.Iran$345,0000.004%
102.Cayman Islands$342,0000.004%
103.Eswatini$333,0000.004%
104.Gabon$331,0000.004%
105.Botswana$330,0000.004%
106.Fiji$327,0000.003%
107.Guyana$303,0000.003%
108.Mozambique$292,0000.003%
109.Chad$285,0000.003%
110.Mongolia$259,0000.003%
111.Tunisia$258,0000.003%
112.Cambodia$245,0000.003%
113.Solomon Islands$241,0000.003%
114.Kyrgyzstan$239,0000.003%
115.Bahamas$232,0000.002%
116.Sierra Leone$225,0000.002%
117.Paraguay$202,0000.002%
118.Benin$196,0000.002%
119.Zambia$172,0000.002%
120.New Caledonia$160,0000.002%
121.Greenland$146,0000.002%
122.Bonaire/St Eustatius/Saba$141,0000.001%
123.Macedonia, North$139,0000.001%
124.Burkina Faso$134,0000.001%
125.Barbados$124,0000.001%
126.Mali$123,0000.001%
127.Laos$122,0000.001%
128.Lebanon$122,0000.001%
129.Guinea$105,0000.001%
130.Antigua/Barbuda$103,0000.001%
131.Costa Rica$99,0000.001%
132.Macao, China$95,0000.001%
133.Moldova, Republic of$92,0000.001%
134.North Korea$86,0000.001%
135.Armenia$86,0000.001%
136.Tajikistan$86,0000.001%
137.French Polynesia$85,0000.001%
138.Dominican Republic$74,0000.001%
139.Equatorial Guinea$73,0000.001%
140.French S./Antarctic Terr$72,0000.001%
141.Madagascar$67,0000.001%
142.Cameroon$66,0000.001%
143.Venezuela$62,0000.001%
144.Zimbabwe$58,0000.001%
145.Cuba$58,0000.001%
146.Nicaragua$54,0000.001%
147.Malawi$51,0000.001%
148.Faroe Islands$51,0000.001%
149.Democr. Rep. Congo$48,0000.001%
150.Uruguay$48,0000.001%
151.Uzbekistan$44,0000.0005%
152.Eritrea$44,0000.0005%
153.Niger$44,0000.0005%
154.Saint Lucia$43,0000.0005%
155.El Salvador$35,0000.0004%
156.Liberia$34,0000.0004%
157.Bosnia/Herzegovina$29,0000.0003%
158.Sudan$28,0000.0003%
159.Aruba$27,0000.0003%
160.Guatemala$26,0000.0003%
161.Ethiopia$26,0000.0003%
162.Micronesia$25,0000.0003%
163.Burundi$24,0000.0003%
164.St Vincent/Grenadines$19,0000.0002%
165.Iraq$16,0000.0002%
166.Haiti$12,0000.0001%
167.Dominica$12,0000.0001%
168.Montenegro$11,0000.0001%
169.Honduras$10,0000.0001%
170.Cocos (Keeling) Islands$9,0000.0001%
171.US Minor Outlying Is$8,0000.0001%
172.Bhutan$7,0000.0001%
173.Saint Kitts/Nevis$6,0000.0001%
174.Somalia$6,0000.0001%
175.Grenada$5,0000.0001%
176.Libya$5,0000.0001%
177.Djibouti$4,0000.00004%
178.Seychelles$3,0000.00003%
179.Samoa$3,0000.00003%
180.Cook Islands$2,0000.00002%
181.Marshall Islands$2,0000.00002%
182.Nepal$2,0000.00002%
183.Lesotho$1,0000.00001%


See also Top Industrial Robots Exporters, Electronic Circuit Components Exports by Country and Heart Pacemaker Export Sales by Country

Research Sources:
Alibaba, Supplier showroom for survey equipment. Accessed on September 12, 2018

dmoz directory, Land Surveying Equipment Manufacturers. Accessed on September 12, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on September 12, 2018

Point of Beginning, 2016 POB Top 100 Geospatial Companies. Accessed on September 12, 2018

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on September 12, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on July 16, 2019

Wikipedia, List of surveying instruments. Accessed on September 12, 2018