Demand for German packaging machines is high throughout the world; this is also evidenced by interpack, the global No. 1 trade fair for the packaging industry and related process industries, held every three years. Photo: Messe Düsseldorf, Constanze Tillmann
German Packaging Machines No. 1 Worldwide
One in three packaging machines worldwide comes from Germany. Following Europe, Asia and North America are the most important consumers of packaging technology made in Germany.
Key sales market USA
So far the German packaging industry has reacted quite calmly to President Trump’s decision to levy tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the European Union. It is not clear yet to what extent the consequences of the US President’s “America First” policy will also impact German packaging machinery manufacturers in the long term.
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The fact is, despite the rising demand for packaging machine technology in threshold and development countries, the US continues to be the biggest single buyer of German packaging machines. In 2017 US imports of German machines and lines totalled €669 million. There is only a limited number of American competitors – to cover domestic demand packaging machinery still needs to be imported. German imports account for 30% here.
Since the first filing line launched by TetraPak in 1952 technology has made quantum leaps in the packaging industry. Today, modern lines and machines are often equipped with robots and camera systems. Photo: Tetra Pak®
As the American food industry is expanding more and more packaging machines are required in the country. Here food safety is a key focus: as a result an increasing number of automation solutions are employed to increase efficiency and reduce errors as well as early-detection systems for contamination in food and packaging. Also often in greater demand than ever before are concepts for the easy cleaning of machines and production lines as well as for short change-over times when different packaging designs are needed for quick product, volume and format changes to ensure greater flexibility.
Connected industry for Packaging 4.0: packaging machines must meet high requirements in the 21st century. Photo: Milk packaging machine, https://www.flickr.com/photos/drainrat/16561149882/in/photolist-resdSW-Ysdgoo
Nearly half of all the German packaging machines still stay in Europe. However, Asia has also become an important market – one in 5 machines end up in this region. In 2017 the export rate amounted to 18%. Key buyers include China, South Korea and India. Even though 2017 only saw 2% of German packaging machines go to India, this country on the Ganges remains a promising export market. Growing middle classes, rising incomes, increasing urbanisation and modern retail structures will boost demand for pre-packed food long term.
Just under 50% of German packaging machinery exports go to neighbouring European states. Some 20% are shipped to Asian countries. Photo: https://www.pexels.com/photo/city-continent-country-destination-269790/
In terms of generics India has also risen to become a global player; some 20% of the output is exported. There is, however, still a great deal of room for development in the food sector. Only some 10% of agricultural products really end up being processed further. Compared to Malaysia with 83%, China 23% and the USA 65% India lags far behind. Add to this the obstacles to business such as a lack of regulatory structures, excessive bureaucracy and often inadequate infrastructure.
Trade fairs in the interpack alliance are held on promising growth markets around the globe - including India and the USA. Photo: interpack/Messe Düsseldorf