- The total number of cranes on commercial projects in North American cities decreased 10%, or by 51 cranes, from the first quarter to the third quarter of 2023, according to Rider Levett Bucknall’s Crane Index. Of the 14 cities surveyed, six saw the number of cranes drop by more than 20% and only two experienced increases.
- RLB attributed the decline to projects approaching completion. In addition, as interest rates continue to rise, private-sector construction shows signs of slowing, the report said.
- Toronto continued to lead all cities with 240 cranes, a slight increase and over nearly 200 more than any U.S. city measured. Domestically, Seattle led the way with 45 cranes, followed by Los Angeles with 30 and Denver with 24.
Residential cranes accounted for much of Q1’s count, but in Q3 there were 13% fewer in the surveyed cities. Nonetheless, RLB said residential cranes saw continued consistent growth, along with mixed-use projects, which made up 49% and 23% of the count, respectively. Commercial cranes counted 12% of the total.
Boston saw the biggest percentage increase, up 122% as it leapt from nine to 20 cranes. Cities that saw drops include Los Angeles (-17), Denver (-12), Washington, D.C. (-8), San Francisco (-6), Chicago (-5), Las Vegas (-3), Honolulu (-2), New York City (-2) and Phoenix (-2).
Most US cities saw crane counts dip
Construction starts tumbled 6% in September in Dodge Construction Network’s most recent spending report, pinned to mounting risks from interest rates remaining high.
Meanwhile, major funding for manufacturing megaprojects from the CHIPS Act continues to sap resources, like labor and materials, leaving other projects scrambling to find staff and deliver projects.