Industrial printer shipments on the rise despite challenges in supply chain

New data from the International Data Corporation (IDC)’s Worldwide Quarterly Industrial Printer Tracker has shown that industrial printer shipments have grown by more than 17 per cent year on year in 2021 despite challenges in the supply chain.

The study also found that industrial printer shipments grew 3.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to the previous quarter.

“[However,] shipments were slower in the second half of the year than the first half in most regions,” IDC hardcopy solutions research director Tim Greene said.

“We’re hearing about supply chain and inventory challenges from many of the global suppliers. Despite this, printer shipment numbers for the year were much stronger than 2020. And, with the exception of North America, the global market is still not back to pre-pandemic shipment levels.”

The strongest growth came from the Central Europe, Middle East & Africa (CEMA) region, which saw shipments grow more than 26 per cent quarter over quarter in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Total shipments in the Asia Pacific region (including China) remained flat for the quarter, while shipments in Japan and North America both declined when compared to the third quarter of 2021.

Shipments in the Western European market grew nearly 14 per cent quarter over quarter, while the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region declined 12.5 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2021.

Within the industrial segments itself, large format digital printer shipments grew 3.2 per cent worldwide in 4Q21 compared to 3Q21 while direct-to-shape printer shipments grew 10 per cent quarter over quarter.

However, dedicated direct-to-garment (DTG) printer shipments declined 3.5 per cent sequentially in 4Q21, which IDC says is partially due to the impact of aqueous direct-to-film printers, while digital label and packaging printer shipments declined 11 per cent sequentially that quarter.

Industrial textile printer shipments grew more than 10 per cent in 4Q21, continuing a strong performance for the full year 2021.

IDC said the year 2021 was considerably better than 2020 as a whole and the outlook for 2022 is positive as there are still important segments of the market such as the trade show business that has not fully resumed.

IDC expects stronger shipment numbers driven by great demand in those segments in 2022.

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