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Cautious Optimism in Conveyor Industry

By Robert Reinfried

The Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA) tracks new orders and shipped sales volume of its manufacturing members in nine classes of unit handling equipment and four classes of bulk handling equipment. Since hitting lows in 2008 – 2009, the Association has shown strong consistent growth year after year in both unit and bulk categories.

Through the first 6 months of 2012, orders were up 40.8 % and shipments were up 40.5% for bulk members over the same period last year. For unit members orders were up 10.0% and shipments were up 22.1%.

The executives representing CEMA member companies who attended the September meeting in Chicago expressed cautious optimism for the remainder of 2012. Total shipments for the Association in the first six months as compared to the same time in 2011 were up 30.37% . Taking into account the strong sales experienced in the last half of 2011 and the opportunity for a softening of the market in the last half of 2012, CEMA is forecasting 2012 shipments to be 17% to 20% over 2011. This is an increase from 10% forecasted by CEMA in March.

CEMA will make another forecast based upon membership data and other macroeconomic input in March. Looking forward to 2013, current trends would indicate that it should be another good year for the material handling industry.