The past year was not easy for any company working in the construction industry. To give you some perspective on the concrete side of things, we analyzed data from the US Geological Survey.
In 2006, arguably the last banner year for many of us, we consumed about 128 million metric tons (MMT) of cement. In 2007, we consumed only 117 MMT, followed by 98 MMT in 2008, and only 74 MMT in 2009. Another way to look at it is, comparing years 2006 and 2009, the United States is consuming 42% less cement. Obviously, this has severe implications on all of our businesses. The good news is that this does appear to be the bottom. The Portland Cement Association is forecasting a small increase in 2010, but that still remains to be seen.
However, the first quarter of the year did not pick up the pace mainly because everyone was buried underneath the snow. Even here in Dallas, we got about 13 inches of snow in two days, which set new records for our city. Needless to say, the weather forecast and our industry’s economic forecast seem to be mirroring each other very closely.
What does this mean for the companies that have survived into 2010? We need to have flexible business models. We need to be able to adapt to an ever changing landscape in order to be profitable and prosperous in the future. Chances are that you have already made many changes to your business, either temporarily or permanent. Most likely the heydays of our industry are in the past, and we have made some tough adjustments.
But while some things have changed, others still remain the same. At Fritz-Pak you will always be able to count on us for solutions to your concrete problems. We have adjusted to the new marketplace with you, and we will always be here to provide you with our excellent products and unparalleled customer service. As we move into the future, we will continue to provide you with the answers to your questions, the support that you need, and the reliable service that you have come to expect from our company.
My best wishes for you and your company this year. Now, let’s all get back to work!
President of Fritz-Pak Corporation
Fritz-Pak Corporation is a member of the American Concrete Institute, the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, the American Society of Concrete Contractors, including the Decorative Concrete Council, the American Concrete Pumping Association, and the International Packaged Concrete Manufacturer’s Association