The MHIA says, ‘The materials handling and logistics industry has not been immune to the general economic downturn currently in progress. But signs point to the industry approaching the decelerating decline phase of the materials handling and logistics business cycle.’

Materials handling equipment manufacturing businesses saw new orders up 2.3% in 2008, shipments up 6.9% and consumption up 5.3%. In 2009, the MHIA expects new orders to decline by 18%–20%, with shipments and domestic consumption both down 15%. The MHIA expects new order to begin to recover in late 2010. In that year, it expects shipments to contract by 3%. It expects exports to continue to decline through 2009 and 2010.