Friday, 22 June 2012

3M expands presence in toll equipment and systems supply market

The marketplace for manufacturing, installing and operating electronic tolling systems worldwide is quite fractionated.  This is due to the relatively isolated nature of electronic tolling systems as they have evolved in different markets.  Canada, Australia, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Europe and the United States have all gone down various paths, some compatible, some not.  

As a result, the key players in that market vary according to where you are.  In Europe, companies such as Kapsch and Siemens are leaders.  In the US, Transcore is a key player.  So the news that 3M is to acquire Federal Signal Technologies Group (which focuses on electronic toll collection and parking management hardware and software services) indicates some confidence by a larger player in the potential for this market.  There being a reasonable likelihood that over the medium term, electronic toll conversions will keep this sector busy, certainly in developed countries, for the next decade or so, along with the likely growth of tolling being used to finance improvements to networks.

The toll system supply market still has some way to go to be completely mature (although in Europe it has consolidated considerably), and is dependent on larger players wanting to get into global markets (Kapsch has been notable in doing this with some alacrity).

Toll Roads News has a good article about the deal with links to the press releases from the two respective companies.

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