The narcotics scanner market is expected to register a CAGR of 6.21% over the forecast period 2020 to 2025. The demand for narcotic detection is driven by the increasing instances of trafficking of drugs, such as cocaine, and heroin, among others. Various law enforcement agencies, like Phoenix (Arizona) Police Department, are implementing sophisticated narcotics analysis technologies that are designed to improve the safety and welfare of the communities they protect and serve.
- With the emergence of cannabinoids (K2 spice), dibutylone, and synthetic cathinones (bath salts) that are visually indistinguishable from one another, there is a dire need to deploy narcotic scanners to restrict the unauthorized movements of drugs.
- The Office of Field Operations, a US federal law enforcement agency managing operations at over 300 ports, including 15 pre-clearance stations in the Caribbean, Ireland, and Canada, reports continued rise in the number of drugs being smuggled observed in the United States.
- The growing focus of the governments across various regions, to develop a healthy habitat by reducing drug tariffing is boosting the growth of the market. The European Union and its Member States are committed to achieving the goals adopted in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Many aspects of these goals relate directly and indirectly to drug problems.
- Owing to this, in January 2019, the UK government-employed scanners that detect drugs on clothes and mail are up and running at 10 of the most challenging jails. The technology can detect invisible traces of drugs, including psychoactive substances, soaked into clothing and paper, a technique increasingly used by criminals attempting to smuggle drugs into prisons. The 10 Prisons Project was announced in August 2018, and it is being funded by an initial EUR 10 million investment.
- The spread of COVID 19 has resulted in economies across the globe using lockdown as the strategic option of containing the spread. Owing to such factors the trade and transportation have been banned in various countries. This has a dynamic impact on the market as it has created an opportunity for the end-users to upgrade their security and scanning infrastructure without worrying for the operational halt.
- However, for the manufacturers and buyers of the scanning systems, it has not been that supportive as it has resulted in disruption of the supply chain, where the movement of the critical components has been halted. Moreover, it is anticipated that with the trade and transportation resuming it will be a huge challenge for the law enforcement agencies and the officials to track and trace the movement of narcotics as the smugglers are expected to look for new approaches to illegally move them
Key Market Trends
Airport Industry to Drive the Market Growth
- The narcotic scanning technology is gaining traction in airports, the aim is to intercept and detain people who have handled narcotics and to identify either users or traffickers of illicit substances and hence driving the market growth.
- Airports are often the transit points for drug trafficking, transnational organized crime, and acts of terrorism. Hence, the growing drug trafficking and criminal activities in the areas are also fueling the demand for trace detection systems.
- In November 2018, AIRCOP officers of the DIRAN at El Dorado International Airport seized a record-breaking 531 kilos of cocaine. Furthermore, in August 2018, the Brazilian Customs at the Guarulhos Airport seized a cargo with 167.5 kgs of cocaine.
- In March 2019, the US-based company, OSI Systems Inc, was awarded a contract of USD 4 million by an international airport, to provide multiple units of its 4DX explosives and narcotics detection system and follow-on service and spare parts support.
- The government organizations are also focusing on tightening the securities in these areas. This is expected to further increase the deployment of these technologies. Additionally, in May 2018, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) collaborated to enhance the security of international air transport systems, to counter transnational organized criminal networks mentioned above.
Asia-Pacific to Witness Significant Growth
- Asia-Pacific is expected to have significant growth in the market studied, due to the increasing inflow of investments for the development of the transit sector, particularly airports. The escalation in the production and use of synthetic drugs amphetamines, in economies, such as Singapore, China, and Vietnam, is anticipated to play a crucial role in the growth of the market.
- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates that the Asia-Pacific methamphetamine trade alone was worth as much as USD 61.4 billion in 2018, up from an estimated USD 15 billion just five years earlier. The growing focus of the countries in the region to reduce drug trafficking is driving the growth of the market studied.
- China is a significant contributor to the ongoing narcotics trade in the region. The country has been witnessing drug trafficking majorly from the overseas. Drugs smuggled in from overseas are a source of increasing harm and a potential threat to the health of the nation. According to a report released by China’s National Narcotics Control Commission (CNNCC), found that Chinese seizures of illegal drugs, mostly synthetic drugs, from the Golden Triangle which straddles Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand increased by 17.6% year-on-year to 29.6 metric ton, in 2018. The commission also reported seizing 1.4 metric ton of cocaine from South America last year, up 3.4 times from the year before.
- Moreover, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime reported a massive seizure of 287 million methamphetamine tablets in East Asia, which has raised concerns related to excessive usage of drugs in China, Singapore, and Malaysia. These factors are further expected to drive the demand for narcotic scanners, in order to support the prosperity of countries.
- According to the Airports Council International (ACI), the Asia-Pacific region is suffering a significant impact owing to this coronavirus pandemic, with the passenger traffic volumes decreasing by 24% for the first quarter of the current year, as compared to the projected traffic levels without COVID-19.
The narcotics scanner market is fragmented and highly competitive. The players are focusing on expanding their market presence and market reach by mergers and acquisitions. They are also focusing on enhancing their product portfolio with advanced technologies to sustain and survive in an intensely competitive market. Some of the key developments in the market are:
- In December 2019 - OSI Systems Inc. announced that its Security division was awarded contracts collectively valued at approximately USD 15 million by an international port authority, to provide multiple units of the Company’s Rapiscan Eagle P60 high-energy X-ray cargo and vehicle inspection systems. It is expected to construct civil works, to support the installation of the systems, as well as provide training, and follow on maintenance and support.
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