Conveyor industry: Latest CEMA report says booked orders are on the rise
July 16, 2010 - MMH Editorial
In its latest monthly report released last week, the Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA) reported that its May 2010 Booked Orders Index was at 129. This figure is up three points over April 2010, marking a 2% monthly increase. The May 2010 Index also represents an increase of 18% from the May 2009 Index of 109.
According to Bob Reinfried, CEMA executive vice president, CEMA’s Booked Orders Index uses the equation 1990=100 to measure its current industry statistics.
In other words, the baseline calculation uses the figure 1990, which was a fairly representative year for the conveyor industry. Numbers to the right of the equals sign gauge where the industry stands in comparison to that year. Therefore, figures above the 100 mark indicate growth, while anything less indicates contraction in the industry.
That said, CEMA’s most recent monthly report reflects growth. Reinfried told Modern that these figures are particularly positive in light of the recent economic conditions in the market. Additionally, he said, CEMA members are encouraged by the new orders coming in.
While booked orders are picking up the pace, billed orders are down 5.2% compared to the same January through May timeframe of 2009.
What does this mean? Reinfried said, “This is telling me that right now [our members] are knocking down the backlog.”
However, with booked orders on the rise, the trend is changing. “So far this year, new orders are exceeding shipments,” said Reinfried. This is a very positive sign, he added, because at some point in time, these orders translate into billable goods that will ultimately be shipped to customers.
Reinfried said that it’s difficult to say how long it will take for shipments to catch up to orders, but right now the conveyor industry is moving upward.
According to CEMA, the overall North American conveyor market was at $7.8 billion in shipments in 2008. In 2009, that figure contracted to $6 billion. CEMA is forecasting an increase of 2% to 3% for the overall North American conveyor market in 2010.