As the new year begins, business and manufacturing is strong in a number of markets. At the end of every year businesses typically reduce their inventories to prepare for the end of the fiscal year. In 2012 those reductions started back in November as anxiety grew in anticipation of the fiscal cliff. Then towards the end of December, as word trickled out that things might not be as bad as everyone thought, we actually saw business pick up. Recovery is still moving slow, but it’s moving nonetheless and the market is beginning to react. Here at UP&R we serve businesses in a wide range of industries. Part of our job is keeping up with the changes in these market sectors, and adapting to best serve our customers.
After a lengthy depression we’re just starting to see improvement in the construction industry. Industry activity is up 10% to 20% year on year compared to 2011, but compared with 2007 numbers the industry is still at a historic low. But as numbers pick up we’re glad to see the first positive signs in years.
We’ve grown sales of our GOLDLINE® and SILVERINE® tarp straps by going head to head against Asian manufactured tarp straps. We’re proud of our tarp straps and plan to continue increasing sales, along with domestic production, in 2013.
As the exchange rate between the dollar and the yen has shifted from favoring the dollar to favoring the yen, manufacturing parts in Japan has become exponentially more expensive than it has been in the past. For this reason we’re seeing a large trend towards manufacturing formerly done in Japan being brought to the U.S. Nissan is building a new plant in New Mexico and adding on to existing plants, and Toyota and Honda are moving the production of more vehicle models here as well. The associated tier 1, 2 and 3 automotive suppliers are following suit, moving new production to U.S. shores and increasing existing domestic production
As these and other industries begin to find their footing, we’re making sure to allocate resources accordingly to meet the needs of all of our customers.