Consumption increases will continue to be driven primarily by the faster-growing transition economies of Asia, Central & Eastern Europe and Africa, rather than the more mature advanced economies of Western Europe, North America and Japan.
Despite this impression of stability, complex dynamics are acting to restructure the industrial packaging sector.
The report author, David Platt, explains: ‘Gradual changes along the supply chain that have been brought about by market and technology developments will have implications for the future of industrial packaging formats and markets. These include packaging, the Internet of Things (IoT) and the switch to dimensional weight pricing in the consumer parcel shipping business.’
Flexible IBCs will register steady growth due to the advantages they offer in terms of efficiency, loading and unloading products. Overall, however, rigid industrial packaging containers are forecast to grow at a faster rate than flexible formats.
Plastic drums will post above-average gains based on cost and performance advantages over fibre and steel drums. In the industrial packaging sector, a key concern is the overall protection provided by the packaging, particularly when dealing with the transport of hazardous materials. Thus degree of substitution from steel to plastic drums for transportation of industrial products is limited because of safety regulations that apply to various hazardous products. In instances where this switching is plausible, the relative cost of steel versus plastic remains the principal driver.
Sustainability is gaining traction in the industrial packaging market, with mounting public pressure on governments, brand owners and retailers to reduce the environmental impact of packaging. The industry is continuing to focus on reuse and reconditioning of industrial packaging, rather than downgauging to cut its carbon footprint.