Companies in this industry manufacture cement, ready-mix concrete, and concrete products such as blocks, pipes, bricks, walls, and girders. Major companies include Ash Grove Cement Company, Martin Marietta Materials, US Concrete, and Vulcan Materials (all based in the US), as well as Anhui Conch (China), Cemex (Mexico), CRH (Ireland), HeidelbergCement (Germany), and LafargeHolcim (Switzerland).
Demand is determined primarily by nonresidential and residential construction activity. The profitability of individual companies is strongly dependent on efficient operations, as products are commodities and companies compete chiefly on price. Large companies enjoy economies of scale in purchasing and the ability to invest in technologies that improve efficiency. Small manufacturers can compete through superior customer service and by serving small or rural markets. The US industry is fragmented: the top 50 companies account for about 45% of industry revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products include ready-mix concrete (about 50% of industry revenue), cement (15%), concrete block, brick, and pipe (15%), and items such as concrete beams, girders, and wall panels.