U.S. Packaging Machinery Shipments Eclipse $6 Billion for First Time
ARLINGTON, Va.—United States packaging machinery shipments reached $6.110 billion in 2006, a 6 percent increase from the $5.765 billion in equipment shipped in 2005, according to PMMI’s 2007 Shipments and Outlook Study. This marks the fifth consecutive year of industry growth since 2001.
Sixteen of the 17 machinery categories that PMMI monitors in this annual report experienced growth in 2006. Two categories, wrapping (+18.6 percent) and capping, overcapping, lidding and sealing machinery (+11.2 percent) enjoyed double-digit growth. Converting machinery was the only machinery category with a modest decline of -0.6 percent.
Exports of packaging machinery surpassed the $1 billion mark for the third consecutive year with $1.012 billion in equipment sold overseas, an increase of 0.5 percent. U.S. domestic demand, which includes domestic shipments and import figures, increased by 8.4 percent to $6.637 billion in sales. Domestic shipments were up 7.2 percent to $5.098 billion and imports were up 12.6 percent with $1.539 billion in sales.
“U.S. domestic demand for packaging machinery has been particularly strong for the past three years with 9.8 percent growth in 2004, 7.6 percent growth in 2005 and last year’s 8.4 percent growth,” noted Charles D. Yuska, president and CEO of PMMI. “While things have slowed in 2007, capacity levels remain high, and we expect consumer goods companies to continue their past buying patterns at slightly moderate terms.”
The following growth factors supported the strong industry growth in 2006
• Increased focus by U.S. companies on manufacturing/packaging cost reduction and productivity improvement to combat rising labor, energy and raw material costs.
• Continued strong cash positions among U.S. corporations.
• Increased need for highly flexible packaging machinery to accommodate shorter packaging runs with a widening range of packaging styles, sizes and configurations.
• Greater demand for turnkey packaging system projects (total line solutions).
• Favorable reception to new machinery introductions with advanced features and benefits including robotics, servo technology, faster speeds, greater packaging precision, easy packaging line integration, touch screen user controls and smaller footprints.
• Demand for machinery upgrades due to packaging format changes to support consumer marketing efforts.
• Attention made to product tracking and labeling, as well as continued pressures to add package security features to protect product integrity, prevent counterfeiting or product contamination