2009 Hot Markets -- Thawing In a Frigid Economy
Coldset web, POP, labels, swatch products and some packaging will remain on shore, principally in lawn and garden and remodeling (e.g., paints, laminates and finishes made in the United States).
Freight/logistics ($661B, +9%; with $4.9B to print, +4%) is a surprise No. 17 in the down economy, but the biggest players in this sector are now firmly in the printing biz! UPS Stores, FedEx Office, several subsidiaries of Deutsche Post and the government-subsidized postal services are all on-demand and on-the-move.Distribute-to-print is theirs, as well as multi-point printing brokerage, document management and time-sensitive expediting. As yet, few ahead-of-the-curve printers are negotiating subcontract and regional supply deals, some financed by the carriers. Short-run web and color, narrow-format digital and in-plants will be the sweet spots, along with digital and print vehicle signage.
At No. 20 will be security/protection ($199B, +7%; with $4.8B to print, -32%). As governments no longer provide personal and property safety, private firms will—at a price co-paid by insurance companies and philanthropies—fill the void. Foreign operators are buying up small U.S. companies, and there will be major branding, promotional and detection product outlays over the next few years. Flexo, screen, hybrid digital/sheetfed and special-process security printers (a vital part of this sector) will be well rewarded, as demands accelerate past ’09.
Converging at No. 21 and No. 23 are entertainment ($728B, +9%; with $4.8B to print, -8%) and electronics ($619B, -9%; with $3.1B to print, -24%), respectively. Shockingly, online content and distribution so well connects these sectors that print is in disconnect.
Broadcast/premium cable/satellite ($1.8B to print, 0%) are doing more barter than pay-per-print, and the only blockbuster category is motion pictures ($1.5B to print, +15%). Check out the amazing POP/POS at your local theater, and the large-format sheetfed plants and finishers that produce them. This work is recession-proof because the public escapes to films when times are bad.
Vincent Mallardi, C.M.C., is a the chairman of the Printing Brokerage/Buyers Association International (PBBA) and is a Certified Management Consultant in the paper, printing and converting industries. He is also an adjunct professor in economics. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org