– Troubled times create opportunities for the rental industry was the title of this year’s rental conference, and we couldn’t agree more!
The rental conference is organized by the Norwegian Rental Association, which is a branch of the European Rental Association. The Rental Association is the trade association for companies involved in the rental of machinery and equipment.
After a few years of Corona cancellations, the stage was set for record attendance at this year’s conference at Gardermoen. All the major machinery and equipment rental companies, construction companies and Norwegian representatives of machinery and equipment manufacturers are participating. This is an industry with major cyclical fluctuations and changes in construction and infrastructure projects have a major impact on turnover and development in the industry.
Are we over the hump or should we brace for a storm?
The national economy was a recurring theme at the conference, and NHO Director of Economics, Øystein Dørum gave an engaging presentation on the Norwegian economy at the macro level. The gist was that despite a number of factors that would indicate bad economic times, growth in Norway is surprisingly strong. Mr Dørum was a little more pessimistic about the future, but stressed that there are different opinions on whether the glass is half full or half empty. That the uncertain times nevertheless offer opportunities for different rental concepts was highlighted by several people on stage. Renting with low running costs, large investments and economic risk is attractive in uncertain times.
Many of the industry players highlighted less construction activity as threats, but at the same time opportunities for increased rental, where contractors and construction companies have previously chosen to own more of the equipment and machinery themselves.
The rental industry had a turnover of 10.8 billion in 2021
Odd Arne Gansmo from UCO presented industry figures and facts (see graphic below). The rental industry had a turnover of almost 11 billion in 2021, and can show good margins. This says a lot about the size of the machinery and equipment rental industry, and not least the future potential for other rental sub-segments. Increased consolidation among the big players, and rental concepts also from the manufacturers were also highlighted as a clear trend. But back to the industry turnover of almost 11 Billion. In these figures, for example, none of the smaller rental companies are included in the figures, nor related industries in the rental sector. At Sharefox, we see a clear trend of increased niche rental services that are successful in a wide range of industries. The common denominator is that it is easily accessible to customers and that the technology helps to operate efficiently.
Troubled times are accelerating digitalization and green transition.
A recurring theme of the conference was how the turbulent times are accelerating the digitalization of the industry. Good technological infrastructure has become a prerequisite for operating efficiently and meeting customer expectations. From track & trace technologies on equipment, to training and certification tools with product updates from DigitQuipwere presented at the Stand part of the conference. A good integrated rental concept requires good rental systems, which can be integrated with other existing infrastructure, was highlighted by several speakers.
Green transition, step by step
This is perhaps the most important point from the conference.
A number of new examples of so-called zero-emission projects were highlighted during the conference, including the development of fossil-free machinery and equipment. In addition, the core is that in a rental economy, the same resources are used/”shared” by as many people as possible, which contributes positively to the green shift.
Overall, the green transition offers opportunities for the rental industry to reduce its environmental impact and contribute to sustainable development. At the same time, rental companies face challenges related to technological developments, changing customer demands and increasingly demanding regulation of emissions.
The rental industry will therefore accelerate innovation and adapt to changes in society in order to continue to grow and contribute to a sustainable future. As part of the Nydalen Factories (also known as Norway’s largest reusable factory), the themes of green transition and digitalization are something we in Sharefox are working on continuously – see for example: Efficient operation of machine and equipment rental and why digitize your rental business.