The growing concern of various governments about green and eco-friendly packaging is driving the global corrugated packaging market. Corrugated boxes, due to their flexible shapes, find their use across multiple industries. They can be die-cut and folded into a variety of shapes and sizes to fit specific packaging requirements. The packaging can be adjusted according to shelf dimension and shipping density. Corrugated packaging is vulnerable to moisture. However, it can be protected by applying moisture barriers and water repellent coatings for them. Based on strength requirements of a particular application, corrugated boards of different flute sizes are available in the market. Apart from being a mode of product packaging, the corrugated package also serves as billboards or stand-up displays for brand identification at shopping stores as they can be printed with high-impact graphic designs.
Secondary shipping is the major application area for corrugated packaging where it imparts highest protection at lowest prices as compared to other packaging types. Corrugated packaging is also used for primary packing such as for consumer electronic products. The graphics on corrugated packaging are printed on paper, which is then laminated onto the corrugated material. The process is termed as litho lamination or litho-lam. Corrugated retail display stands are gaining popularity in retail stores, especially in low-budget product promotions.
A large percentage of corrugated products are manufactured using high percentages of recovered fiber (including old corrugated containers, kraft, old newspapers, and mixed paper), which makes it a sustainable packaging solution. Corrugated packaging has the best recycling rate among packaging materials. In 2012, 91% of all containerboards produced in the U.S. was recovered and recycled. In 2013, processed food was the largest application segment in the global corrugated packaging market. It was followed by applications such as personal care and household products and beverages. The share of processed food corrugated packaging is expected to increase during the forecast period.
Increasing population coupled with rising per capita income is encouraging industrial production worldwide, which, consequently, is increasing the number of shipments. Owing to low costs and easy handling, corrugated packaging is considered as ideal for shipments across several industries. Based on the application, corrugated packaging is used in different shapes such as sheets, liner board, boxes, and containerboards. Based on dimensions of the packaging medium, corrugated packaging is classified as A-flute, B-flute, C-flute, E-flute, and F-flute.
The various application industries that use corrugated packaging include processed food, fresh food and produce, beverages, personal and household care, chemicals, paper products, electrical and electronic goods, glassware and ceramics, and tobacco.
The electronic commerce (e-commerce) industry is growing at a fast pace globally, which, consequentially, is leading to increasing in demand for corrugated packaging. Corrugated packaging is one of the best-suited packaging mediums for the e-commerce industry. The global e-commerce industry was worth USD 1.2 trillion in 2013. Currently, approximately 40% of global Internet users buy products online via desktops, mobile phones, and tablets. China and India are among fastest growing markets for e-commerce. According to an announcement in 2014 by the Indian Corrugated Case Manufacturers’ Association (ICCMA), the corrugated packaging industry in India is expected to grow at around 10% in the coming years; of this, the e-commerce industry is expected to account for a significant demand.
Currently, corrugated packaging is considered as the most cost-effective packaging solution. However, its low endurance and a high propensity for deformation restricts its area of application. Corrugated packaging is best suited for products within a certain weight range, beyond which it is not considered as an ideal packaging medium. This restricts its usage to a limited number of industries. High and cyclic relative humid weather decreases the compression strength of corrugated boxes, especially that of recycled corrugated boxes. Corrugated packaging also requires protection from liquids and sparks.
Major companies in the corrugated packaging market include International Paper Company, Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Limited, Rock-Tenn Company, Smurfit Kappa Group, Lee & Man Paper Manufacturing Ltd., Georgia-Pacific Equity Holdings LLC, Oji Holdings Corporation, Mondi Group, Packaging Corporation of America, and DS Smith Plc. The market is consolidating with large numbers of mergers and acquisitions taking place, especially in North America and Europe.
The global corrugated packaging market grew from USD XX billion in 2010 to USD XX billion in 2013 at a CAGR of XX%. Among application industries, the beverages segment (the largest market in 2013) grew from USD XX billion in 2010 to USD XX billion in 2013. The electrical and electronic goods packaging segment witnessed the highest CAGR of XX% during the same period.
The global corrugated packaging market is anticipated to grow from an estimated USD XX billion in 2014 to USD XX billion in 2020 at a CAGR of XX%. Processed food (the largest application segment in 2014) is anticipated to grow from USD XX billion in 2010 to USD XX billion in 2013. The electrical and electronic goods application segment is anticipated to witness the highest CAGR of XX% during the forecast period.
1.1 North America
According to the Corrugated Packaging Alliance (CPA), in 2012, there were around 1,300 corrugated manufacturing plants in the U.S. and Canada. The corrugated industry in the U.S. employed over 70,000 people during the same year. Based on the discussions of the 16th International Containerboard Conference (ICC) in November 2014, the ratio of corrugated box shipments among nondurable goods manufactured in the U.S. has dropped from 102 square feet (ft2) per unit of goods in the first quarter of 2011 to 97 ft2 in the fourth quarter of 2014. This is further anticipated to fall to 95 ft2 by the end of 2015. Canada and Latin America are the major containerboard exporters to the U.S.
1.1.1 North America corrugated packaging market, by application
The corrugated packaging market in North America grew from USD XX billion in 2010 to USD XX billion in 2013 at a CAGR of XX%. The market is anticipated to grow from an estimated USD XX billion in 2014 to USD XX billion in 2020 at a CAGR of XX%.
Among the applications of corrugated packaging, processed food (the largest application segment in 2013) grew from USD XX billion in 2010 to USD XX billion in 2013 at a CAGR of XX%. The others segment witnessed the highest CAGR of XX% during the same period.
Processed food (the largest application segment in North America) grew from USD XX billion in 2010 to USD XX billion in 2013 at a CAGR of XX%. The others segment is anticipated to witness the highest CAGR growth of XX% during the forecast period.
1.1.2 North America corrugated packaging market, by country
The corrugated packaging market in the U.S. (the largest market in North America in 2013) grew from USD 23.63 billion in 2010 to USD 24.72 billion in 2013 at a CAGR of 1.5%. The rest of North America witnessed the highest CAGR growth of 2.1% during the forecast period.
The corrugated packaging market in the U.S. is expected to grow from an estimated XX USD billion in 2014 to USD XX billion in 2020 at a CAGR of XX%. A rest of North America is anticipated to witness the highest CAGR growth of XX% during the forecast period.
According to the Corrugated Packaging Alliance (CPA), a corrugated packaging association based in the U.S., approximately 90% of all goods transported across the U.S. ship in corrugated packaging. The U.S. is one of the largest consumers of fresh food products in the world.
Major companies in the corrugated packaging market include:
The market is consolidating with large numbers of mergers and acquisitions taking place, especially in North America and Europe.