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January 29, 2014
3 Min Read
Protective packaging -- box with fill
Protective packaging -- box with fillAccording to a new report by Bharatbook, "World Protective Packaging to 2014," world demand for protective packaging is projected to increase 7.8 percent per year to $22.2 billion in 2014. This represents a notable acceleration from the pace of the 2004-2009 period. Advances will be stimulated by an upswing in manufacturing activity and the continued proliferation of Internet shopping in both developed and developing regions.
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. Value gains will also be helped by the growing presence of environmentally friendly products -- such as those made from recycled or biodegradable materials -- which tend to be more costly than their conventional counterparts. However, such gains will stem from a low base. Also, the importance of price in the purchasing decisions of most packaging users will moderate demand for green products to some extent.
Good opportunities in China
While the US is by far the world’s largest user of protective packaging, the most rapid increases will occur in developing regions. Asia, Central and South America, and the Africa/Mideast region will all outpace the global average.
Population growth, greater urbanization, industrialization trends and increases in international trade activity will support advances in these regions’ generally underdeveloped packaging sectors. Rising consumer income levels and expanding middle classes will also generate robust internal demand for packaged consumer goods, boosting protective packaging requirements.
Some of the best growth opportunities will occur in Asia, which is expected to see double-digit annual growth through the forecast period. In particular, China alone is expected to account for one-fourth of global value gains in protective packaging demand between 2009 and 2014.
Growth in manufacturing output to boost demand
To a large degree, demand for protective packaging will be fueled by an acceleration in production output. In particular, healthy growth in major manufacturing sectors, such as motor vehicle production, electronic product shipments, and food and beverage output, will create concomitant needs for protective packaging.
However, great disparity in usage intensity will remain among the different regions, with the strongest growth potential existing in developing regions.
Overall, foamed plastic protective packaging will remain the largest product type by a wide margin. Demand will be aided by foamed plastic’s light weight and excellent cushioning capabilities compared to paperboard and other materials. However, the growing emphasis on packaging sustainability -- especially in developed countries with more established environmental regulations -- will constrain potential for conventional foamed plastic protective packaging to some extent.
Protective mailers and other protective packaging products such as air pillows and bubble packaging will continue to experience the fastest gains. Among factors driving growth will be performance and environmental advantages, as well as a continued robust outlook for electronic commerce, which will fuel the need for products offering enhanced resistance to impact, abrasion and temperature changes during movement of goods through the supply chain.
SOURCE: Bharat Book Bureau
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