The opening of PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO (Sept. 27-29; Las Vegas Convention Center) was accompanied by projections of aggressive growth for the U.S. packaging machinery market moving into 2022. Based on the newly released State of the Industry U.S. Packaging Machinery Report by show owner and producer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, packaging machinery shipments could reach $12.8 billion in 2026, growing at a CAGR of 5.2 percent.
“We are excited to welcome the industry together for the first time in 18 months,” says Jim Pittas, president and CEO, PMMI. “Now more than ever, it is critical for companies to keep up with the new innovations in our industry, and with 1,500 exhibiting companies, there is no better place to do it than here at PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO.”
After a challenging 2020, the packaging industry faced operational as well as workforce challenges exacerbated by COVID-19 while at the same time experiencing unprecedented demands for consumer products. As PMMI’s State of the Industry report highlights, the packaging industry responded to these challenges with automation and innovation.
2020 was a record year for packaging machinery. The total size of the market in the U.S. went up to $12.3 billion, growing 14.4 percent, and in the case of domestic shipments 14.7 percent growth reached $9.4 billion. This unparalleled growth in demand generated a significant backlog of 22.3 percent to reach a level of $3.14 billion for U.S. manufacturers. While this increase in demand stretched delivery times in 2021, complications in the supply chain at all levels continue to challenge delivery times, pushing them even longer.
“As our industry continues to experience aggressive growth, operational priorities have shifted,” says Jorge Izquierdo, vice president, market development, PMMI. “Our research indicates the top five operational priorities for packaging and processing manufacturers this year are: workforce, automation, productivity, growth and supply chain. These priorities will continue for the foreseeable future, framing an environment for accelerated investment in packaging and processing technology.”
Food represents the largest packaging machinery sector in 2020, accounting for 40.2 percent of shipment revenues, followed by beverage at 21 percent. The household, industrial and agricultural chemicals sector is expected to grow the fastest to 2026, at a CAGR of 8.6 percent, followed by the pharmaceuticals sector, forecasting at 8 percent. The filling and dosing, bottling line and form, fill and seal machinery types are forecast to grow the fastest of all machinery categories to 2026 with CAGRs of 6.5, 6.1 and 5.9 percent, respectively.