The overall value of surveying equipment exports grew by an average 15.6% for all exporting countries since 2017 when total shipments of surveying equipment were valued at $8.53 billion.
From 2020 to 2021, worldwide exports of surveying equipment increased in revenues by 13.7%.
The technical equipment and technology behind critical land surveys 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.
Contested property battles are a key reason why surveying demands precise spatial measurements that must stand up in court.
Major Suppliers of Surveying Equipment on Global Markets
The 5 biggest exporters of surveying equipment by value are mainland China, the United States of America, Germany, United Kingdom, then Switzerland. That leading cohort of suppliers generated over half (52.3%) of globally exported surveying equipment during 2021.
Applying a continental perspective, suppliers in European countries sold the highest dollar worth of exported surveying equipment during 2021 with shipments valued at $4.4 billion or 44.2% of the global total. In second place were equipment providers in Asia at 32.4% compared to 20.5% for competitors in North America.
Smaller percentages came from Oceania (1.6%) led by Australia, Africa (0.8%), and Latin America (0.5%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.
For research purposes, 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
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of survey equipment during 2021.
- China: US$1.51 billion (15.3% of exported survey equipment)
- United States: $1.48 billion (15%)
- Germany: $897.3 million (9.1%)
- United Kingdom: $728.2 million (7.4%)
- Switzerland: $540 million (5.5%)
- Singapore: $489.6 million (5%)
- Canada: $487.8 million (4.9%)
- France: $441.3 million (4.5%)
- Hong Kong: $399.8 million (4.1%)
- Netherlands: $394.8 million (4%)
- Norway: $267.2 million (2.7%)
- Japan: $183.1 million (1.9%)
- Austria: $179.8 million (1.8%)
- Sweden: $169.4 million (1.7%)
- Australia: $147 million (1.5%)
By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 84.3% of globally exported survey equipment in 2021.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing exporters of survey equipment since 2017 were: mainland China (up 60.2%), Sweden (up 44.6%), Switzerland (up 31.2%) and the Netherlands (up 31.1%).
Singapore posted the smallest percentage advance in the international sales of survey equipment via a 0.4% gain.
Countries with Competitive Advantages Trading Surveying Equipment
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for surveying equipment during 2021. 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.
- China: US$529.4 million (net export surplus down -509.1% since 2020)
- United Kingdom: $354.2 million (up 35.1%)
- Switzerland: $332.9 million (up 45.2%)
- Germany: $329.9 million (down -15.8%)
- Singapore: $188.7 million (up 6.6%)
- Canada: $155.1 million (down -24.8%)
- France: $117.8 million (down -13.6%)
- Netherlands: $113.3 million (up 1.8%)
- United States: $96.5 million (down -67.3%)
- Finland: $93.5 million (down -6.9%)
- Austria: $82.6 million (down -10.4%)
- Denmark: $58.3 million (up 12.3%)
- Malaysia: $56.8 million (up 88%)
- Sweden: $40.1 million (up 206.4%)
- Israel: $30.7 million (up 3805.7%)
Mainland China generated the highest surplus in the international trade of survey equipment. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms China’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.
Countries with Competitive Disadvantages Trading Surveying Equipment
The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for surveying equipment during 2021. 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.
- Saudi Arabia: -US$318.5 million (net export deficit up 14.1% since 2020)
- United Arab Emirates: -$248.9 million (up 93.8%)
- Russia: -$182.3 million (up 21.2%)
- Australia: -$171.3 million (up 33.4%)
- South Korea: -$167.6 million (up 23.7%)
- Japan: -$144.5 million (up 58.3%)
- India: -$124.3 million (up 107%)
- Nigeria: -$100.5 million (up 22.2%)
- Brazil: -$80.3 million (up 16.4%)
- Norway: -$70 million (up 33.6%)
- Mexico: -$67.2 million (up 23.9%)
- Vietnam: -$64.2 million (up 127.3%)
- Indonesia: -$53.5 million (down -11%)
- Chile: -$49.7 million (up 60.5%)
- Italy: -$44.1 million (reversing a $10.3 million surplus)
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates incurred the highest deficits in the international trade of surveying equipment. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights Saudi’s and the UAE’s strong competitive disadvantages for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for survey equipment-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful demand.
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.
- Bathey Survey Markers, Inc (United Kingdom)
- Bechtel (United States)
- Datum Survey Products Ltd (United Kingdom)
- Dunham & Morrow Inc (United States)
- Geo Industries Co Ltd (China)
- Imajing (France)
- Larson Design Group (United States)
- Leica Geosystems (Switzerland)
- Renishaw (United Kingdom)
- Robert Bosch GmbH (Germany)
- SECO (United States)
- Sun Survey Systems (India)
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.
- EIE Instruments Private Limited (India)
- International Surveying Equipment Ltd (United States)
- Shanghai Huace Navigation Technology Ltd (China)
- STS Corporation (Japan)
- Surveying Systems (Pakistan)
- Zhangfuying Inc (Hong Kong)
See also Top Industrial Robots Exporters, Electronic Circuit Components Exports by Country and Heart Pacemaker Export Sales by Country
Alibaba, Supplier showroom for survey equipment. Accessed on November 5, 2022
dmoz directory, Land Surveying Equipment Manufacturers. Accessed on November 5, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on November 5, 2022
Point of Beginning, POB Top 100 Geospatial Companies. Accessed on November 5, 2022
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on November 5, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on November 5, 2022
Wikipedia, List of surveying instruments. Accessed on November 5, 2022