US packaging machinery shipments got a green light in 2010 and saw a 12 percent jump from 2009, according to end-of-year figures from PMMI. 2010 shipments were $5.5 billion, up from $4.9 billion in 2009 according to PMMI’s annual US Packaging Machinery Shipments report.

The report also indicates exports, as measured in US dollars, increased 9 percent, from $891 million in 2009 to $975 million in 2010, while imports increased 13 percent—from $1.17 billion to $1.32 billion.

“In recent years, the packaging machinery market has reflected trends in the general economy,” says Charles Yuska, PMMI president and CEO. “2008 shipments were generally flat from 2007, and 2009 shipments dropped by about 16.3 percent. The increase in 2010 shipments mimicked the slow economic recovery. However, preliminary data shows significant growth in 2011.

“The proportions between market niches are consistent with what we’ve seen since 2004: Food is the largest market, then beverage, then pharmaceutical and medical,” says Yuska. “Together, they average out to about 70 percent of the market.”

The PMMI report notes food (about 40 percent in 2010), beverage (about 23 percent) and pharmaceuticals/medical devices accounted for 70 percent of dollars spent on packaging machinery. The other categories—including CPG, chemicals, hardware/industrial/automotive, converters/printers and personal care/toiletries/cosmetics—make up the remaining 30 percent.

US packaging machinery shipments for 2010 were estimated by combining responses from 178 PMMI member packaging machinery manufacturers (subtracting Canadian members) with projected non-member shipments.

The executive summary of the study is available to PMMI members. For more information, contact Paula Feldman, director of business intelligence, 703-243-8555,