Top Surveying Equipment Exporters by Country

Not that many 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.

Turning to an international trade perspective, global sales from surveying equipment exports by country totaled US$7.8 billion in 2016.

Overall, the value of surveying equipment exports were down by an average -34.4% for all exporting countries since 2012 when surveying equipment shipments were valued at $11.9 billion. Year over year, exported surveying equipment retreated by -15.7% from 2015 to 2016.

Among continents, European countries accounted for the highest dollar worth of exported surveying equipment during 2016 with shipments valued at $3.3 billion or 42.6% of the global total. Leapfrogging North America for second place in 2016 were Asian equipment suppliers at 29.1% compared to 25.2% for their North American competitors.

Smaller percentages came from Oceania (notably Australia and New Zealand) at 1.7%, Africa at 0.9% and Latin America (excluding Mexico) and the Caribbean at 0.5%.

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 2016:

  1. United States: US$1.5 billion (19.2% of exported survey equipment)
  2. Germany: $734.9 million (9.4%)
  3. China: $578.8 million (7.4%)
  4. United Kingdom: $551.5 million (7.1%)
  5. Singapore: $456.8 million (5.9%)
  6. Switzerland: $441.4 million (5.7%)
  7. Canada: $424.7 million (5.5%)
  8. Norway: $380.6 million (4.9%)
  9. Hong Kong: $336.6 million (4.3%)
  10. France: $266.5 million (3.4%)
  11. Malaysia: $255.1 million (3.3%)
  12. Netherlands: $235.3 million (3%)
  13. Japan: $166.5 million (2.1%)
  14. Finland: $116.2 million (1.5%)
  15. Saudi Arabia: $102.3 million (1.3%)

The listed 15 countries shipped 84% of global surveying equipment exports in 2016 by value.

Five of the above countries increased their surveying equipment exports since 2012: Saudi Arabia (up 209.5%), Hong Kong (up 62.1%), Norway (up 10.3%), Malaysia (up 3.6%) and Switzerland (up 0.7%).

Those remaining 10 countries that posted declines in their exported surveying equipment sales were led by: France (down -72.3%), United Kingdom (down -58.4%), Japan (down -54.6%), United States (down -47.4%) and Canada (down -26.9%).

Advantages

The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for surveying equipment during 2016. 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$406.7 million (net export surplus down -71.9% since 2012)
  2. Germany: $283.6 million (down -43.7%)
  3. Switzerland: $251.5 million (up 12.5%)
  4. Canada: $225.3 million (up 158.2%)
  5. United Kingdom: $156.9 million (down -70.6%)
  6. Hong Kong: $127.3 million (up 136.7%)
  7. Singapore: $108 million (up 43.4%)
  8. Finland: $86.2 million (down -15.8%)
  9. Malaysia: $81.4 million (up 201.8%)
  10. Netherlands: $80.9 million (down -17.1%)
  11. France: $57 million (down -91.4%)
  12. Denmark: $33 million (down -15.7%)
  13. China: $26.5 million (down -115.5%)
  14. Austria: $25.7 million (down -53.6%)
  15. Poland: $18.9 million (up 92%)

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 2016. 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. United Arab Emirates: -US$288.3 million (net export deficit up 177.9% since 2012)
  2. Saudi Arabia: -$157.2 million (down -19.1%)
  3. Russia: -$91.6 million (down -73.6%)
  4. South Korea: -$86.1 million (up 10.7%)
  5. Australia: -$80.7 million (down -60.5%)
  6. India: -$62.3 million (up 19%)
  7. Kuwait: -$57 million (up 103.6%)
  8. Japan: -$51.1 million (down -134.9%)
  9. Iran: -$50.3 million (down -31.3%)
  10. Spain: -$49.5 million (up 395.8%)
  11. Vietnam: -$42.5 million (up 62.2%)
  12. Turkey: -$40.8 million (down -26.6%)
  13. Mexico: -$36.5 million (down -73.1%)
  14. Pakistan: -$36.5 million (down -21.4%)
  15. Brazil: -$33.2 million (down -61.2%)

United Arab Emirates incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of surveying equipment. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights UAE’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

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

RankExporter2016 Surveying Equipment Exports% World Total
1.United StatesUS$1.5 billion19.2%
2.Germany$734.9 million9.4%
3.China$578.8 million7.4%
4.United Kingdom$551.5 million7.1%
5.Singapore$456.8 million5.9%
6.Switzerland$441.4 million5.7%
7.Canada$424.7 million5.5%
8.Norway$380.6 million4.9%
9.Hong Kong$336.6 million4.3%
10.France$266.5 million3.4%
11.Malaysia$255.1 million3.3%
12.Netherlands$235.3 million3.0%
13.Japan$166.5 million2.1%
14.Finland$116.2 million1.5%
15.Saudi Arabia$102.3 million1.3%
16.Australia$101.3 million1.3%
17.Austria$99.2 million1.3%
18.Sweden$88.4 million1.1%
19.India$84.2 million1.1%
20.Denmark$83.7 million1.1%
21.Thailand$63.8 million0.8%
22.Italy$62.5 million0.8%
23.Poland$59.7 million0.8%
24.Russia$45.2 million0.6%
25.South Africa$43.9 million0.6%
26.Mexico$42.2 million0.5%
27.Taiwan$39.3 million0.5%
28.United Arab Emirates$38.7 million0.5%
29.Belgium$36.5 million0.5%
30.Spain$29.6 million0.4%
31.Vietnam$18.1 million0.2%
32.South Korea$16.3 million0.2%
33.Israel$15.1 million0.2%
34.Portugal$14.7 million0.2%
35.Colombia$13.5 million0.2%
36.Bahrain$13.3 million0.2%
37.Indonesia$12.8 million0.2%
38.New Zealand$12.7 million0.2%
39.Oman$12.5 million0.2%
40.Brazil$11.4 million0.1%
41.Czech Republic$10.8 million0.1%
42.Turkey$10.6 million0.1%
43.Myanmar$10.4 million0.1%
44.Estonia$9.4 million0.1%
45.Fiji$9 million0.1%
46.Slovakia$7.8 million0.1%
47.Pakistan$6.9 million0.1%
48.Kazakhstan$6.3 million0.1%
49.Iceland$6.1 million0.1%
50.Cameroon$6.1 million0.1%
51.Kuwait$6 million0.1%
52.Gibraltar$5.8 million0.1%
53.Romania$5.7 million0.1%
54.Mozambique$5 million0.1%
55.Ecuador$4.6 million0.1%
56.Latvia$3.8 million0.05%
57.Brunei Darussalam$3.4 million0.04%
58.Uganda$3.3 million0.04%
59.Luxembourg$3.2 million0.04%
60.Azerbaijan$3 million0.04%
61.Papua New Guinea$2.9 million0.04%
62.Chile$2.9 million0.04%
63.Palau$2.8 million0.04%
64.Lithuania$2.5 million0.03%
65.Ukraine$2.4 million0.03%
66.Malta$2.3 million0.03%
67.Bulgaria$2.3 million0.03%
68.Belarus$1.9 million0.02%
69.Slovenia$1.8 million0.02%
70.Ireland$1.7 million0.02%
71.Peru$1.7 million0.02%
72.Greece$1.6 million0.02%
73.Serbia$1.5 million0.02%
74.Namibia$1.4 million0.02%
75.Kenya$1.4 million0.02%
76.Democratic Rep. Congo$1.3 million0.02%
77.Croatia$1.2 million0.02%
78.Guyana$1.1 million0.01%
79.Qatar$1.1 million0.01%
80.Angola$1 million0.01%
81.Benin$1 million0.01%
82.Cyprus$978,0000.01%
83.Congo$931,0000.01%
84.Côte d'Ivoire$900,0000.01%
85.Philippines$865,0000.01%
86.Guatemala$850,0000.01%
87.Kyrgyzstan$826,0000.01%
88.Panama$763,0000.01%
89.Argentina$711,0000.01%
90.Botswana$708,0000.01%
91.Paraguay$698,0000.01%
92.Libya$689,0000.01%
93.Bangladesh$643,0000.01%
94.Uzbekistan$640,0000.01%
95.Bermuda$624,0000.01%
96.Curaçao$598,0000.01%
97.Trinidad/Tobago$564,0000.01%
98.Fr. South/Antarctic Territories$554,0000.01%
99.Dominican Republic$518,0000.01%
100.Cuba$511,0000.01%
101.Solomon Islands$478,0000.01%
102.Tanzania$447,0000.01%
103.Algeria$443,0000.01%
104.Madagascar$405,0000.01%
105.Jordan$405,0000.01%
106.Georgia$374,0000.005%
107.Senegal$350,0000.004%
108.Mauritius$332,0000.004%
109.Liberia$290,0000.004%
110.Venezuela$279,0000.004%
111.Iran$269,0000.003%
112.Sri Lanka$269,0000.003%
113.Rwanda$268,0000.003%
114.Togo$268,0000.003%
115.Costa Rica$261,0000.003%
116.Jamaica$252,0000.003%
117.Albania$242,0000.003%
118.Ghana$213,0000.003%
119.Barbados$205,0000.003%
120.Swaziland$201,0000.003%
121.Tunisia$185,0000.002%
122.Saint Lucia$182,0000.002%
123.St Vincent/Grenadines$181,0000.002%
124.Uruguay$179,0000.002%
125.Macao$175,0000.002%
126.Nauru$166,0000.002%
127.Burkina Faso$150,0000.002%
128.Honduras$146,0000.002%
129.Bahamas$141,0000.002%
130.Gabon$124,0000.002%
131.Morocco$121,0000.002%
132.Nicaragua$121,0000.002%
133.Turkmenistan$104,0000.001%
134.Belize$100,0000.001%
135.Dominica$98,0000.001%
136.Niger$93,0000.001%
137.Afghanistan$92,0000.001%
138.Niue$89,0000.001%
139.Equatorial Guinea$73,0000.001%
140.Zambia$71,0000.001%
141.Egypt$69,0000.001%
142.Guinea-Bissau$56,0000.001%
143.Vanuatu$55,0000.001%
144.Lebanon$54,0000.001%
145.Iraq$46,0000.001%
146.Samoa$45,0000.001%
147.Kiribati$43,0000.001%
148.Cook Islands$43,0000.001%
149.Bonaire/St Eustatius/Saba$41,0000.001%
150.New Caledonia$40,0000.001%
151.Zimbabwe$38,0000.0005%
152.Macedonia$29,0000.0004%
153.El Salvador$29,0000.0004%
154.Bosnia/Herzegovina$25,0000.0003%
155.Mali$23,0000.0003%
156.Lesotho$20,0000.0003%
157.Ethiopia$19,0000.0002%
158.Grenada$18,0000.0002%
159.Burundi$17,0000.0002%
160.Faroe Islands$16,0000.0002%
161.St. Pierre/Miquelon$16,0000.0002%
162.Guinea$15,0000.0002%
163.North Korea$12,0000.0002%
164.Nepal$12,0000.0002%
165.Falkland Is (Malvinas)$11,0000.0001%
166.Armenia$10,0000.0001%
167.Suriname$9,0000.0001%
168.Chad$8,0000.0001%
169.Montenegro$7,0000.0001%
170.Sierra Leone$7,0000.0001%
171.US Minor Outlying Is$6,0000.0001%
172.Mongolia$6,0000.0001%
173.Eritrea$6,0000.0001%
174.Laos$5,0000.0001%
175.Greenland$4,0000.0001%
176.Antigua/Barbuda$4,0000.0001%
177.British Virgin Is$4,0000.0001%
178.Somalia$4,0000.0001%
179.Seychelles$3,0000.00004%
180.Timor-Leste$3,0000.00004%
181.Tonga$2,0000.00003%
182.Djibouti$2,0000.00003%
183.Montserrat$2,0000.00003%
184.Malawi$1,0000.00001%
185.Cambodia$1,0000.00001%
186.St Maarten (Dutch part)$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 July 27, 2017

dmoz directory, Land Surveying Equipment Manufacturers. Accessed on July 27, 2017

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on July 27, 2017

Point of Beginning, 2016 POB Top 100 Geospatial Companies. Accessed on July 27, 2017

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on July 27, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on July 27, 2017

Wikipedia, List of surveying instruments. Accessed on July 27, 2017