Demand for United States Packaging Machinery Grows in 2011

Demand for United States Packaging Machinery Grows in 2011

A recent study by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) shows a second consecutive year of growth for the demand of U.S. manufactured packaging machinery.  Both exports and imports of packaging machinery grew in 2011, which provides both good and bad news for manufacturers of container cleaning equipment, liquid fillers, capping machines, labelers and other packaging equipment.

Of course, seeing the export numbers grow for U.S. packaging equipment is always a good sign.  Not only does it help the bottom line for manufacturers in the United States, but it obviously creates the potential for more jobs.  As colleges and universities across the U.S. start recognizing packaging as a field of study and offering degrees for the same, one can only assume - or hope - that the science of packaging machinery will benefit and advance as a new generation invades the field.  Packaging in general, including the manufacture of packaging machinery, is also a multi-billion dollar business globally, so education, training and research leading to improvement will eventually have an impact on the economy.  

The continued growth of imports of packaging machinery to the United States arguably provides both good and bad news.  Growing imports, in general, converts to growing businesses, either in number or in production.  More business for U.S. companies means more jobs.  However, choosing foreign packaging machinery over American made packaging machinery means there still exists some factors that apparently favor foreign manufacturers.  Whether it be the perceived quality of conveyors, fillers, cappers and other packaging machinery or a decision based solely on cost, foreign manufacturers are still highly competitive with domestic companies.  All of the contributing factors, not just the obvious ones mentioned above, need to be identified so that American manufacturers can close whatever gap does exist and keep more of the manufacturing within the 50 states to further increase the postive effect that the packaging industry can have on the economy.

The Food and Beverage Industry continued to account for more than one half of the end users of the packaging machinery, while pharmaceuticals and personal care products combine for another fifteen percent. These numbers will probably remain fairly stable, though personal care products and other, miscellaneous products have been on the increase as of late.  The industries served can, indirectly, have an effect on where certain packaging equipment is purchased, just as the size and location of the end user can have an effect.  For example, a larger foreign corporation with satellite offices in the United States may be more likely to purchase filling and capping machinery from their own country and have it shipped to the U.S.  

For more on the shipping study, visit PMMI's website today.