In 2018, newer segmental concrete paving products including permeable interlocking concrete pavement (PICP) and concrete paving slabs saw substantial gains in Canada and United States, according to the 2019 Industry Sales Profile released today by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI).
Compared to 2017 sales, PICP realized an almost 4% gain in the U.S. and about 10% in Canada. While a lesser-used product, concrete grid paving units experienced an almost 3% gain in the U.S. and almost 10% in Canada. Concrete paving slab sales gained by almost 5% in both countries.
These 2018 product sales are contrasted with a modest 0.6% reduction in U.S. and Canadian sales for much more widely used interlocking concrete pavers of varying thicknesses. Concrete paver sales for both countries were projected from the survey results at 747.0 million square feet. This equates to per capita use in Canada at 2.27 square feet and 2.03 square feet in U.S.
“The increase in PICP sales is supported by greater regulation of stormwater runoff. The increase in paving slabs sales come from demand for more restful, stone-like paving patterns that enhance residential projects,” said Kendall Anderegg, ICPI Chair. “Growth in PICP for mostly commercial uses and slabs for residential applications offer homeowners, businesses, and governments the most durable, cost-effective, safe and attractive pavement option.”
Products for residential use represented 80.2% of sales, while commercial applications comprised 10.2% of sales. Public/government and industrial sales were 7.6% and 1.9% respectively.
Interlocking concrete pavers comprised 81.7% of products sold by survey participants, while paving slabs were the second-most popular product at 9.6%. PICP represented 6.6% of sales, followed by concrete grid pavers at 0.4% and other products at 1.5%.
The study came from survey responses from 25 manufacturers representing 25% of the producing companies in the U.S. and Canada. These companies own approximately 54% (140) of the paver producing machines and 22 slab-producing machines in the two countries. The survey was conducted by Industry Insights, an independent research consulting firm based in Dublin, Ohio.
The report attributed overall low growth to inclement weather, labor shortages and a spike in trucking costs. A skilled workforce shortage has been identified in other ICPI studies, causing the Institute to launch a workforce development program to attract young people into hardscape construction and train new recruits into the labor force.
“While ICPI continues emphasizing programs in support of member sales, we are becoming the catalyst in meeting the workforce shortage,” said Anderegg. “Three of every four contractors who have participated in recent studies by ICPI have indicated that their top business obstacle is recruiting and retaining qualified employees. In response, we’ve created a multi-faceted program to attract young people into the installation/contracting business and teach them the skills they need to succeed in installation and hopefully manage a contracting business someday.”
The complete 2019 Industry Sales Profile is available for purchase by visiting www.icpi.org/shop.