Looking forward, there are seven important short-term and long-term trends that will impact the development of the global material handling industry as well as its growth prospects.

Demand for cement and concrete additives in the Africa/Mideast region is forecast to rise 7.9% annually through 2026 to $1.8 billion.

Conventional polyethylene mailers composed of LDPE and HDPE will remain the largest segment of poly mailer demand.

Retort will remain the largest type of thermal food processing used due to the low cost and long shelf life afforded by cans for use with soups, processed fruits and vegetables, and dinners, as well as the established nature of retort processing lines.

Through 2026, aseptic packaging will continue to see strong demand growth in the packaging of milk and milk alternatives, soups, tomato products, and other foods.

Demand for hot fill packaging for food is forecast to increase 1.2% annually to $2.6 billion in 2026, sustained by the ongoing popularity of hot fill packaging for sauces and condiments.

A new Freedonia Group analysis finds that demand for folding cartons in the beverage market will benefit from the popularity of smaller, regional runs of beverages.

Demand for folding cartons is expected to grow 1.8% per year through 2026 to $12.8 billion.

Global demand for I&I cleaning chemicals is projected to increase 3.9% annually to $53.7 billion in 2026.

Vehicle care products will also see above average gains, buoyed by increasing shipping and distribution activities, as well as increasing patronization of commercial car washes as average vehicle miles traveled returns to pre-pandemic levels.