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World demand grows

According to industrial market research firm The Freedonia Group, growth in the packaging machinery industry is showing improvement over previous years, as world demand is projected to rise 5.0 percent per year (including price increases) through 2008 to more than $31 billion. Developing nations are expected to post the most gains, following economic growth in developing regions and Eastern Europe. These figures show a substantial growth over the period of 1998-2003. These trends are presented in Freedonia's study World Packaging Machinery.

Fast population growth and rapidly increasing levels of industrial output will place Latin America and the Asia/Pacific Region as the two most promising markets. The growing food, beverages, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products industries will stimulate demand in these areas. Additionally, China and India will post strong gains each.

With 2003 shipments of $4.9 billion, the U.S. is the largest producer of packaging machinery. Japan trails just behind with shipments of $4.1billion.

Labeling and coding machinery will remain the fastest growing segment among product groups, due to labeling regulations and product tracking systems for shipping companies. Filing and form/fill/seal equipment will remain the largest product group, and new product development will continue with smarter, faster, more flexible units.

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