Here's the good news we've all been waiting for … 2005 is shaping up to be a year of recovery for the material handling industry. That was the conclusion of a recent study conducted by The MHEDA Journal, a publication of the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association. The journal randomly polled 60 distributors across the United States and Canada.
A full 90 percent of those interviewed expect sales to increase this year, while the remaining 10 percent predict sales will remain about the same. (None of the respondents said they expected sales to slip.) Respondents cited a continued general recovery in the economy, new product releases, expanded marketing plans and technological advancements as reasons for their optimism.
Engineered systems distributors appear to be the most optimistic, collectively anticipating an 18percent increase over 2004. Storage and handling equipment dealers and industrial truck distributors both expect sales to jump by 15 percent, while distributors with a diverse product mix are readying for a 12-percent increase this year.
Still, all was not rosy; some respondents noted concerns about fuel, steel and insurance costs.