The demand for aggregates is growing, but it's countered by the difficulty in opening new quarries and keeping costs down in the industry.
Vulcan Materials Company created a list of factors believed to drive future demand for aggregates and the factors that will impact the aggregates supply. Demand for aggregates will increase because of:
- The US population will grow to 400 million by 2043
- The growth of energy efficient buildings
- An increase in non-residential construction, such as stores, offices, schools and buildings
- An increase in new home development and replacement of older homes
- The aging baby boomer population with needs for more long and short-term health care facilities
- The aging infrastructure that needs to be upgraded or replaced
- An increase in the use of concrete in construction
Factors that influence aggregates supply include:
- Increased amounts of capital to invest in technologies to make operations more efficient
- Tighter specifications on materials making more unusable material waste
- Greater use of recycled concrete and asphalt
- Need to ship aggregates farther because of having to use quarries far from cities
- Depletion of reserves
According to Pit & Quarry magazine, “The growth patterns (of aggregates) will be shifting in 2020. Because the past three years have been so strong for the Southeast, most of these states will grow only moderately in 2020, with a few declining due to overbuilding in housing. The strongest growth will be in the Mountain West, where gains in energy production and favorable lifestyle conditions are attracting more families and businesses. Manufacturing states will also do well, as solid job growth and gains in tax receipts will help public works projects.”
And AggNet magazine mentions in Quarry Management 2050: “The increasing use of technology and technological developments are expected to reshape the face of quarry management over the next 30 years.”
As the construction sector grows, there is a demand for raw materials and natural resources, putting a strain on the industries that support these demands. With a skills shortage, combined with growth in the industry, quarry managers are under increasing pressure to deliver greater levels of efficiency while keeping costs down. Command Alkon has solutions specifically built for the aggregates sector that automate business processes and remove paperwork to increase efficiencies and productivity.
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