According to International Data Corporation (IDC), Worldwide Quarterly Industrial Printer Tracker introduces that the market recovery from the COVID-19 crisis continued in the fourth quarter of 2020 (4Q20).
This latest data reveals large-format printer shipments increased 12% over 3Q20 shipments worldwide. For the full year, large-format printer shipments declined by more than 20% year-over-year. New direct-to-shape printer shipments grew 8% in 4Q20 compared to the prior quarter but declined by more than 25% for the year. Shipments in the direct-to-garment segment increased 24% in 4Q20 compared to 3Q20 but declined by more than 20% year-over-year in 2020.
Label and Packaging printer shipments grew by more than 17% quarter over quarter in 4Q20 but declined 17% for the full year. Industrial Textile printer shipments grew by 24% in 4Q20 compared to 3Q20 but were down 25% for 2020 compared to 2019.
Tim Greene, Research Director at IDC illustrated that every market segment covered by the Industrial Printer Tracker, from large format printers through packaging and label printing systems, saw growth in Q4 compared to Q3. Moreover, as the year progressed, companies resumed investments in digital printing systems. We are still not all the way back to pre-pandemic shipment and revenue levels, but the market is clearly recovering.
Shipments in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region saw sequential growth of almost 20% in the final quarter of 2020. North America Industrial printer shipments increased 7.3% in 4Q20 compared to 3Q20. In China, shipments hit their lowest level in 1Q20, grew 6.7% quarter over quarter in 4Q20. The rest of the Asia/Pacific region continued the recovery that started in 2Q20 with sequential shipment growth of 19% in 4Q20.
IDC added that despite the pandemic, there were numerous technology advancements introduced to the industrial printer market in 2020 that should fuel investments in industrial printing equipment. In some cases, the pandemic has exposed a demand for faster, more agile, and more sustainable production capabilities that are enabled by industrial printing solutions.