Companies in this industry construct highways, streets, and bridges; utility systems; and other heavy and civil engineering projects, including subdivisions of land. Major companies include US-based Bechtel, Fluor, Granite Construction, Kiewit, and The Walsh Group, as well as ACS (Spain), China State Construction Engineering, Skanska (Sweden), and VINCI (France).
Heavy construction activity depends heavily on the health of the economy, including corporate profits and local government budgets. The profitability of individual companies depends on accurate project bids and efficient operations. Large companies have advantages in their ability to engage in multiple projects simultaneously and to provide wider ranges of services. Small companies can compete effectively by specializing, working in a limited geography, or serving as subcontractors on larger projects.
Products, Operations & Technology
Utility system construction (water and sewer, oil and gas, electric power, and communications) accounts for about half of US industry revenue. Highway, street, and bridge construction accounts for about 35%. Other major industry segments include marine construction, dredging, railroad construction, and development of land subdivisions. Operations focus on project bids, labor and equipment management, and material procurement. Larger companies may own much of their equipment and retain full-time crews, while smaller firms typically lease equipment for a particular project and hire much of their labor on a project basis.