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Materials handling industry rebounds

$75 billion. That could be the most important figure reported by the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA), sponsor of ProMat, at its annual State of the Industry press conference yesterday.
By Modern Materials Handling Staff
March 22, 2011

$75 billion. That could be the most important figure reported by the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA), sponsor of ProMat, at its annual State of the Industry press conference yesterday.

“That figure represents the capital spending plans of ProMat attendees over the next 18 months,” said George Prest, chief operating officer for MHIA. That’s right, ProMat attendees say they plan to spend $75 billion on the materials handling and information handling technologies on display that this year’s show in the next year and a half.

29%. That could be the second most important figure reported by MHIA. That represents the increase in pre-registrations for this year’s event over the 2009 show.

Taken together, the numbers paint a picture of why materials handling spending has begun to rebound from the recession that began in 2008. In fact, the chart of economic activity for the industry over the last few years looks very much like a V-shaped recovery, according to Prest.

Material Handling Equipment Manufacturers (MHEM) report that new orders grew by 18% in 2010 over 2009. Those same manufacturers are forecasting growth of 11% to 12% for 2011-2012. MHEM shipments—the actual deliveries of materials handling equipment and systems—grew between 6% and 7% in 2010 and are also forecast to grow by 11% to 12% in 2011-2012.

Finally, MHEM Domestic Demand, a figure defined as shipments to domestic customers plus imports of equipment by domestic customers less export shipments, grew 3% to 4% in 2010, but is forecast to grow 11% to 12% in 2011. MHIA is also forecasting strong export growth in 2011.

“The buying power of our attendees is the primary reason there’s a lot more activity and optimism on the floor this year over the 2009 show,” Prest said.

2011 Industry Outlook: Optimism shines
Materials handling industry experts report that 2010 was better than expected and believe that we’re painting a brighter picture for 2011.

ProMat 2011 will be held March 21 - 24, 2011 at McCormick Place South in Chicago. The tradeshow will showcase the latest manufacturing, distribution and supply chain solutions in the material handling and logistics industry.

Read all of Modern’s ProMat 2011 coverage



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