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Material handling: elevators and escalators - statistics & facts

A brief history of elevators

The first passenger elevator was installed in 1857 in New York, but it was shut down three years later after a bumpy start. At that time, elevators were perceived only as a piece of industrial machinery and people were skeptical to use it as a means of transportation. However, the emergence of high-rise buildings and modern cities changed the elevator industry entirely. Today, there are over 18 million elevators and escalators in operation around the world.

China dominates the elevator and escalator market

The global market for elevators is expected to reach over 183 billion U.S. dollars by 2026 due to the continual development of the construction industry. The highest growth has been observed in the Asia-Pacific market where China represents two thirds of new installations worldwide. Asia-Pacific’s strong increase in urbanization and desire for tall buildings is a main driver of growth.

Otis: the world’s largest elevator and escalator manufacturer

The leading suppliers of elevators and escalators include the Connecticut-headquartered Otis, the Finnish corporation Kone, and the Switzerland-based Schindler Group, among others. Acquired in 1976 by United Technologies Corporation, Otis later emerged as an independent company after the UTC and Raytheon merger in 2020; the name was then changed from Otis Elevator Company to Otis Worldwide Corporation. The elevators and escalators branch of the company generates over five billion U.S. dollars in sales every year, while maintenance and modernization services represent the largest segment of the company.

Interesting statistics

In the following 3 chapters, you will quickly find the 20 most important statistics relating to "Material handling: elevators and escalators".

Statistics on the topic


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