U.S. protective packaging demand to grow by 5.0% per year to US$5.9B in 2016 driven by a rebound in manufacturing output, particularly of durable goods, solid growth in internet shopping: Freedonia

CLEVELAND , January 31, 2012 (press release) – Protective packaging demand in the US is projected to increase 5.0 percent per year to $5.9 billion in 2016, fueled by a rebound in manufacturing output, especially for durable goods, along with continued solid growth for Internet shopping. These factors will necessitate heightened requirements for cost-effective packaging used in the protection of goods from shock, vibration, abrasion and other damaging effects of shipping and handling. These and other trends are presented in Protective Packaging, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

The increasing popularity of Internet shopping will be one of the most important trends influencing protective packaging demand. Products expected to benefit include protective mailers, air pillows and bubble packaging. Mailers are valued as an alternative to boxes, providing reduced material and postage costs, source reduction and space savings. Solid gains for air pillows will be the result of advantages over other void-fill materials in terms of cost and material use, and consumer preference for the product over traditional materials such as loose-fill. Growing requirements for cost-effective, lightweight cushioning will propel gains for bubble packaging, which also offers greater ease of use than alternatives such as foam-in-place polyurethane.

Recovery in the manufacturing sector, particularly a substantial improvement in durable goods output, will fuel accelerated gains for protective packaging, especially foam products and molded pulp. Opportunities for paperboard protectors will be assisted by healthy growth for warehouse clubs and home center stores, boosting demand for edge protection products, which are used by these establishments to unitize and stack pallets.

Insulated shipping containers will be one of the fastest growing protective packaging product types as a result of growing cold chain requirements in the pharmaceutical and life science industries, as well as rising online sales of perishable foods. Pharmaceutical uses will be driven by rapidly expanding markets for biotechnology drugs and vaccines, which are often temperature-sensitive.

Green packaging’s increased prominence will also propel gains for molded pulp, paper fill, biodegradable loose-fill, and automated onsite bubble packaging systems, among others. Advantages of molded pulp and biodegradable loose-fill include ease of disposal and more stable pricing than petroleum-based plastics.

                       
US PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND

(million dollars)


 

% Annual Growth

Item     

2006

2011

2016

2006-

2011

2011-

2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protective Packaging Demand

3925

4605

5880

3.2

5.0

Flexible

1728

2095

2685

3.9

5.1

Rigid

1153

1405

1790

4.0

5.0

Foam

1044

1105

1405

1.1

4.9

 

 

 

 

 

 



Protective Packaging (published 01/2012, 276 pages) is available for $5100 from The Freedonia Group, Inc., 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143-2326. For further details, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440.684.9600, fax 440.646.0484 or e-mail pr@freedoniagroup.com. Information may also be obtained through www.freedoniagroup.com.

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