Marine life rafts are small inflatable rescue boats designed to keep distressed passengers afloat. These small sized rafts are carried within larger ships and boats, deployed immediately whenever an emergency arises. Some of the marine life rafts, also known as rigid life rafts, are usually pressurized and contained within airtight canisters, conveniently placed at the outer deck of the ship, which aids in easy and faster deployment of the life rafts. Owing to tighter regulations formed over the years for the purpose of improving marine safety, life rafts are a common fixture on ships and boats.
Its penetration rate is anticipated to improve in the upcoming years by increasing the minimum number of marine life rafts to be present in the ships. SOLAS or International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea is the prime regulatory body and treaty governing the usage of marine life rafts on ships and boats. The prime functional requirements of a marine life rafts include being able to withstand extreme weather conditions, be able to absorb impact loads, carry minimum rescue equipment as well as food and among others.
The primary factor responsible for driving the marine life rafts market is growth witnessed in maritime transport or seaborne trade wherein large volume of goods take it to the sea for transportation purposes. The shipbuilding industry is also on the rise around the globe which thereby contributes to the growth of the marine life rafts market in the forecast period. The market of marine life rafts is also aided by the growth witnessed in the fishing industry wherein large boats and dispatched for fishing purposes.
Marine tourism is also another area which has grown considerably over the past few years especially in the Mediterranean and Asia Pacific region prompting higher requirements of marine life rafts which thereby helps in the overall growth of the market.Though the manufacturers of marine life rafts do not fall under the category of large revenue generating players, they are keen in continuously developing the product to improve its lifespan, passenger holding capacity and reliability. Shortcomings noticed in product differentiation within the major players has led to the development various innovations such as large capacity, self-propelled life rafts.
In terms of the geographical reach of the marine life rafts market, it can be said that economies with larger coastlines are expected to have a larger market share. The market in the landlocked economies will be lesser but may rely on marine transport within the inner waterways such as rivers. The market for marine life rafts in the Asia Pacific region is anticipated for a healthy growth in the forecast period due to growing marine industry and transportation. This factor is also true for the Middle East and Africa region as well, in particular the Middle East region owing to improvements witnessed in its maritime cargo industry.
The North American market is also anticipated for a positive growth due to tighter regulations placed around the mandatory instalment of such rescue equipment on board the ships and boats. Influx witnessed in the coastal tourism of the European region is anticipated to strengthen the growth of the marine life rafts market on a longer run in the future
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