US Market Erosion Results in New Packaging Association for Carded Packaging Market

CHICAGO, IL, USA—A new association of packaging manufacturers has formed in order to address growing concerns over plant closings and lost jobs to overseas competition. According to Rick Thomas (Card Pak Inc., Solon, OH), a founding member and VP of the Association of Visual Packaging Manufacturers, the new group is made up of leaders and decision makers assembled from industries serving the carded packaging market, including printers, thermoformers, equipment manufacturers, and material suppliers.

The new group has a newly elected president, John Rohrer (Rohrer Corp., Wadsworth, OH), is governed by a seven-member board, and has 25 members from across the US. "We continue to see sales going to Asian and other international markets," reports Rohrer. "As a group we will explore ways to keep these jobs in the US, including reducing lead times and sharing statistical information and market trends with our members."

PFFC recently visited with the Assn. of Visual Packaging Mfrs.'s VP, Rick Thomas, owner of Card Pak, who confirmed that card converters, as well as thermoformers, are feeling the pinch of China and other Asian markets. "At the association's first meeting last February," says Thomas, "we went around the room and sample polled the 25 companies." After the informal poll, he explains, "our number was just over $26 million lost to China." And that's just a rough estimation, he adds.

According to Thomas, the Assn. of Visual Packaging Mfrs. has plans to meet October 14, 2003, at the Pack Expo show in Las Vegas and will host an open member luncheon featuring Jerry Duff, "a nationally known consultant and speaker on lean manufacturing technology." Attendees will have the opportunity to join the association prior the Pack Expo luncheon. More information is available by calling 888/334-9123 or via email at info@avpm.info.

For more commentary about trade, manufacturing, and China, check out PFFC (or pffc-online.com) in September for "Considering China," a feature article that includes more information from Thomas as well as other converting industry-related insight into the complex issue.



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