Tugboat Market is Expected to Incline at an 8.7% CAGR from 2023 to 2031, Reaching US$ 620 Million: TMR Report

The rise in demand for OSVs in line with offshore activities is driving the demand for tugboats as complementary vessels and consequently, augmenting the tugboat market statistics

Wilmington, Delaware, United States, June 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Transparency Market Research Inc. - The global tugboat market is anticipated to experience substantial growth from 2023 to 2031, expected to register a CAGR of 8.7% to reach a valuation of US$ 620 million. Tugboats play a crucial role in enhancing the operational efficiency of ports and shipping companies by enabling faster turnaround times, minimizing congestion, and improving vessel handling.

Expansion of offshore industries, such as oil and gas exploration and offshore wind farms, is estimated to positively affect the tugboat market forecast in the next few years. Developing countries are investing in infrastructure upgrades, including ports and waterways, to support economic growth and improve connectivity. The expansion of industrial activities and international trade in these countries fuels the demand for tugboats to support their growing maritime sectors.

The expansion of global maritime trade is another factor likely to fuel the uptake of tugboats. According to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), around 80% of the volume of international trade in goods is carried by sea, and the percentage is even higher for most developing countries.

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Market Snapshot:

 Report Coverage Details
 Market Revenue US$ 292.0 Mn
 Estimated Value US$ 620.0 Mn
 Growth Rate - CAGR 8.7% 
 Forecast Period 2023-2031
 No. of Pages 120 Pages
 Market Segmentation Type, Average Length, Engine Type, Engine Power, Capacity, Speed, Service, Ownership / Operator
 Regions  Covered North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, South America
 Companies Covered Astilleros Armon, Blount Boats and Shipyard, Cantiere Navale Vittoria Spa, Caterpillar Marine, Cheoy Lee Shipyards, Conrad Industries Inc., Damen Shipyards Group, Duclos Corporation, Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc., Greenbay Marine Pte. Ltd., Gulf Island Fabrication, Hindustan Shipyard Ltd., Keppel Singmarine, Med Marine AS, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Piriou, Ranger Tugs, Robert Allan Ltd., Sanmar Denizcilik AS, Sembcorp Marine, The Great Lakes Towing Company, Tsuji Heavy Industries, Uzmar Shipbuilding and Trade Inc., Vard Group, Other Key Players

Key Takeaways from the Market Report

  • As of 2023, the global tugboat market is expected to be valued at US$ 317.48 million
  • Sales of tugboats are expected to nearly double from 2023 to 2031
  • By type, seagoing tugboats are likely to experience high demand from 2023 to 2031
  • In terms of service, harbor assistance is expected to account for a significant number of tugboat usage
  • By engine type, electric-powered tugboats are anticipated to acquire significant popularity
  • From 2022 to 2023, the market for tugboats is forecast to grow by over 8%

Prominent Drivers & Trends in the Tugboats Market

  • Demand for tugboats is increasing, thanks to an expanding oil & gas industry. Tugboats are essential in offshore drilling operations, assisting in the movement and positioning of drilling rigs, supply vessels, and other support vessels.
  • Offshore construction projects, such as the installation of pipelines, subsea infrastructure, and wind farms, rely on tugboats for various tasks. Tugboats assist in transporting construction materials, positioning equipment, and providing support during the installation process. These offshore construction activities, particularly in the renewable energy sector, are boosting demand for tugboat services.
  • Demand for tugboat services for vessel maneuvering, berthing, safe navigation, emergency response, congestion management, pilotage assistance, ship escort services, and maintenance and repair support within harbors and ports offers significant tugboat market opportunities for manufacturers.

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Global Tugboat Market: Regional Landscape: APAC to be the Rising Sun

  • Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as one of the most lucrative tugboat markets. Nearly 40% of all tugboats operations are expected to be concentrated in this region. The presence of a robust shipping and maritime industry is a key contributing growth factor.
  • Asia Pacific is expected to witness robust expansion of the tugboat business, as the region is a major hub for international maritime trade, with countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore playing crucial roles. Growth in trade volumes across various economies in the region has resulted in a higher demand for tugboat services to support vessel movements and port operations.

Competitive Landscape

Prominent players operating in the global tugboat market include Astilleros Armon, Blount Boats and Shipyard, Cantiere Navale Vittoria Spa, Caterpillar Marine, Cheoy Lee Shipyards, Conrad Industries Inc., Piriou, Ranger Tugs, Robert Allan Ltd., Sanmar Denizcilik AS, Sembcorp Marine, The Great Lakes Towing Company, Tsuji Heavy Industries, Uzmar Shipbuilding and Trade Inc., and Vard Group among others.

Some key developments in the tugboats market are as follows:

  • In April 2023, Suez Canal Authority revealed plans to introduce a floating port and six additional tugboats by the conclusion of 2023. Implementation of these upgrades is expected to have a positive impact on the canal's revenue and contribute to economic advancement in the surrounding area. Furthermore, the testing phase of these vessels is scheduled to commence in the latter half of 2023, before their official deployment for service.
  • In August 2022, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Samoa collaborated and launched Sa'ula-60, a newly funded tugboat as part of the Apia Port project. This initiative aims to enhance Apia Port, transforming it into a safer, more secure, and environmentally friendly international gateway. The project prioritizes the development and implementation of gender-sensitive green port initiatives, focusing on optimizing operational efficiency and energy usage to ensure the long-term sustainability of Samoa's port operations.

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Key Segments Profiled


  • Seagoing Tugboats
  • Harbor Tugboats
  • River Tugboats

Average Length

  • Less than 15 Meters
  • 15 Meters - 30 Meters
  • More than 30 Meters

Engine Type

  • Diesel Engine
  • Gasoline Engine
  • Electric

Engine Power

  • Less than 1000 kW
  • 1000 kW - 2000 kW
  • More than 2000 kW


  • Less than 30 Tons
  • 30 Tons - 60 Tons
  • 60 Tons - 100 Tons
  • More than 100 Tons


  • Low Speed (Less than 8 knots)
  • Standard Speed (8 knots - 12 knots)
  • High Speed (More than 12 knots)


  • Harbor Assistance
  • Towage and Salvage
  • Escort Services
  • Offshore Support
  • Ice-breaking
  • Others


  • Private
  • Government/Port Authority


  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa
  • South America

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