Shipments of U.S. packaging machinery grew 19 percent in 2011, reaching $7.7 billion, according to PMMI's 2012 Shipments Study. PMMI's annual research also shows total consumption in the United States climbing by 23 percent to $8.8 billion.
"Positive growth is always good news," says Jorge Izquierdo, vice president, market development, PMMI. "And within that 19 percent jump in U.S. packaging machinery shipments, we saw 20 percent growth domestically and 16 percent in exports."
Imported packaging machinery sales also increased, by about $500 million, Izquierdo points out: "U.S. companies spent 35 percent more on imported packaging machinery in 2011."
Food is the most important segment of the packaging equipment market
The distribution of sales among market segments did not shift much, if at all however. Food (36 percent) and beverage (24 percent) accounted for the vast majority of sales, as they have since PMMI began conducting this study in the mid-1990s. In 2011, the two categories combined to account for 60 percent of shipments.
The only machine category that didn't see its greatest sales in food or beverage was Blister, Skin/Vacuum Packaging Machines, in which 59 percent of its sales were to the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device market.
"But even then, foods accounted for 41 percent of category sales," Izquierdo notes. "The foods market led 16 of the 25 total categories, and beverages led in eight."
Converting machines-container/material manufacturing had the greatest dollar sales in 2011, the Shipments Study finds, with $760 million, about 10 percent of the total market. "Coding, Printing, Marking Stamping and Imprinting (Not on a Label)" followed, with $520 million (7 percent) of the market).
As of December 31, 2011, the backlog on orders was $2.3 billion, PMMI reports. While the dollar figure for backlogs increased by 28 percent from 2010 ($1.8 billion), it was actually a smaller share of the total shipments figure-30 percent in 2011 vs. 33 percent in 2010.
PMMI's 2012 Shipments Study is free to the PMMI members who participated in the survey. Non-participating members can purchase it for $1,500, and it's available to nonmembers for $3,500.