By the numbers, our latest ranking of North American rotational molders includes 104 companies with combined related sales of just over $3.1 billion.
Results for the 2022 fiscal year reveal the average sales per company is up 10.7 percent to $30.2 million, but that's not the best number to quote, because only about half the listings even have sales over $10 million. The real trend this year was for gains of 12-15 percent.
In this ranking we ask our respondents to break out their sales into custom, proprietary and captive percentages. Proprietary products take the largest share at 54 percent of the total, or $1.7 billion.
Tracking that level of detail can be confusing to follow, especially when the operations change owners. The idea of reporting captive figures is an attempt to separate rotationally molded finished goods from rotomolded components of a larger product.
But sometimes customers buy their suppliers, bringing plastic processing capability under their own business umbrella. What was once custom becomes captive. That seems to happen frequently in the rotomolding sector.
Our most recent example is cleaning machines maker Kaivac Inc. buying its supplier, Eger Products Inc. It's a difficult segment to tease data from, as 21 firms in our ranking reported some percentage of captive sales. This is also the point where we can lose listings, when the new parent companies no longer want to report that level of detail on their plastics operations.