Material Handling Equipment Orders Up 14%

According to a market forecast for Material Handling Equipment Manufacturing (MHEM) from Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA), industrial production increased significantly in the first half of 2010 even though factory operating rates (utilization) remained very low by historical comparison.

“The demand that was created as the economy shifted from recession into recovery mode (filling supply chain pipelines, re-establishing inventories, and responding to pent up demand) was the principal impetus for improvement in the first two quarters in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution,” according to Hal Vandiver, MHIA executive vice president of business development.

“Forecasts are now calling for a combination of reduced GDP – corporate profit – business investment and output growth with utilization remaining below 75.0% until late 2011,” he concludes. “This is largely due to uncertainty. Consumers, investors and business owners need greater confidence in the economy’s ability to sustain positive growth.”

MHEM new orders contracted 34.3% in 2009. Growth in the 12.0 to 14.0% range is possible in 2010 if current momentum maintains. The outlook for 2011 is for growth in the 11.0 to 12.0% range.

MHEM shipments contracted 33.4% in 2009. Shipments are forecasted to grow 3.0 to 4.0% in 2010 and another 10.0 to 11.0% in 2011.

MHEM domestic demand contracted 33.7% in 2009. Domestic demand (shipments plus imports less exports) will grow about 1.0% in 2010 and likely will mirror shipment growth in 2011. Exports will be stronger than imports in 2010 and 2011.

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