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Recycling Goes Global at RESALE

The world's largest trade fair for used machinery is taking place in Nuremberg, Germany. It is especially attractive for companies from developing countries or Eastern Europe.


Used construction machinery isn't all that's for sale at RESALE

If you happen to go out for a beer in Almaty, Kazakhstan, you might notice that the local Central Asian brew has a distinct German taste to it. The reason is simple: it's made in traditional brewing vats from Cologne, Germany.

The vats were originally used by Cologne's Dom Brewery. But when Dom moved its headquarters to a new location, the old vats were no longer needed. So Dom sold and shipped them to a brewery halfway across the globe.


Selling used machinery and equipment is a lucrative business. And there's even a whole trade fair concentrating on this sector of the economy. RESALE has been held annually in the German city of Nuremberg since 1995 – and each year the fair has grown.

This year, some 500 exhibitors from 29 countries are selling over 150 000 machines from virtually every sector of industry. Anything from used construction machinery to textile machines and equipment for power plants. Some 40 percent of the exhibitors are offering metal working and processing machinery, making this the largest product group at RESALE 2002.

Visitors from over 100 countries are expected to attend this year's fair. Just like last year, most of them will be from Germany. In 2001, the largest foreign contingents of visitors to the fair came from Romania, the Ukraine, Iran, Russia, Lithuania, Yugoslavia, Belarus and India.

Growing Market

In the EU alone, the annual market volume for used machinery is approximately € 45 billion ($ 40 billion). "Even if the local economy is being talked down, there is a flourishing foreign market where used machines are needed," says Wilfried Kames, an expert on used machinery with the Association of German Wholesale Dealers in Machinery and Tools.

The success of RESALE is also partly due to a unique service the fair offers. Interested buyers can submit requests to the fair organisers throughout the year through the RESALE website (see below).

"We receive enquiries for used machines every day from all over the world," says project manager Rüdiger Hess. "A company in Uruguay wants to buy several machines for meat processing and packaging at a time," Hess explains. Buyers in Ukraine need a snow cannon and components for setting up a ski-lift, he adds. And a company from Belarus is interested in wind power plants.

Many potential buyers get in touch with individual exhibitors through the RESALE internet website before the trade fair even starts.

Most enquiries are for metal working machines. Commercial vehicles are also sought after. One company from Dubai has enquired about second-hand tanker vehicles. They are intended to secure the water supply in Afghanistan.

Package deals available

In recent years, a professional service sector has developed around used machinery and equipment. At this year's RESALE, 76 exhibitors are offering their experience in the fields of dismantling, transporting, reassembling and upgrading machinery and equipment.

And if you're a beer brewer in Germany like Dom who wants to sell 17 giant brewing vats to a buyer on the other side of the globe, such services will come in handy: Each of the German vats was 16 meters (52.4 feet) tall. Dismantling and transporting them to Central Asia was a logistical masterpiece.

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