Cargo Management Markets

Apr 4, 2011

The markets for cargo management systems have grown as demand from construction and heavy industrial users is augmented by extreme sports and outdoors enthusiasts, RVers and others. Additionally, less cargo space in today’s smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicles has created a demand for aftermarket cargo management systems that provide additional space and functionality.

  • Customers who bike, surf, kayak, canoe, ski, snowboard, etc. often own smaller vehicles but still need a functional and attractive load carrying system.
  • Customers seek expert information from shop owners, salespeople and installers regarding available cargo management products, applications, and critical safety procedures.
  • These market influences present significant revenue-generating opportunities with strong profit margins as well as residual sales and incremental business.
  • Manufacturers generally do not sell direct to consumers, which reinforces the viability of one-stop sales and installation.
  • Retailers such as sports stores generally do not offer product installation, but typical customers often need professional mounting and installation services.

Cargo management is governed by:

  • Type of vehicle
  • Maximum weight capacity
  • Type of cargo

Construction and other heavy industries demand cargo systems that provide flexible means to carry equipment, tools and material in an efficient manner.

  • Van and over-cab racks
  • Hitches
  • Suspension systems
  • Tonneau covers
  • Work truck caps

Three basic types of roof racks:

  • OEM (can be up-fitted for bikes, skis, kayaks, canoes, etc.)
  • Aftermarket/enthusiast (generally designed for specific items)
  • Commercial (designed for heavier items)
  • Other racks are designed to fit into receiver hitches to carry skis, bikes, etc.

Rack accessories:

  • Tie-down straps
  • Load secure posts
  • Headache racks
  • Utility hooks
  • Bike carriers
  • Ski carriers
  • Kayak carriers
  • Pods


  • Present a profit potential through direct to consumer product sales and installation.
  • Volume sales potential through municipal and large company fleets, and auto dealerships.

Four major classifications of hitches:

  • Class I: light duty, up to 2,000 lbs.
  • Class II: light duty, up to 3,500 lbs.
  • Class III: medium duty, up to 6,000 lbs.
  • Class IV: heavy duty, up to 10,000 lbs.