The global cold chain packaging market size was valued at USD 21.2 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 104.32 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 19.37% from 2022 to 2030. Due to the unpredicted climate, the cold chain has become one of the most important aspects of the transportation industry. While transporting drugs for pharmaceutical or healthcare purposes has increased the demand for a heat-sensitive system, the transport of food, beverages, and other essential perishable items has increased this need.
Proper management of cold chain transportation is essential for ensuring the quality of transported goods, such as medications, which in many cases must be transported at a specific temperature. Temperature fluctuations are less tolerable in medical and high-end products, and product spoilage results in a substantial financial loss.
In 2021, the storage sector became the largest segment due to the growing global demand for packaged food. It is necessary to maintain a constant temperature for packaged foods and medications. During storage, the temperature of packaged foods and medications is monitored by a variety of sensors and control equipment.
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According to Almac Pharma Services, the biological drugs in development are becoming more temperature-sensitive, resulting in an increase in the storage of bulk drug substances at freezing temperatures (-40 to -70 °C). The company adds that labeling, packaging, and distributing cell and gene therapy products frequently requires products to be stored and processed at ultra-low temperatures (-20 to -80 °C) and only defrosted just prior to use. In 2020, it was anticipated that global biopharmaceutical sales would exceed $370 billion. Globally, the vast majority of these high-value pharmaceutical products are transported via the cold chain distribution system. Consequently, it is anticipated that the expansion of the pharmaceutical industry will drive the market for cold chain packaging.
In addition, the market for cold chain packaging is directly impacted by the rising demand for cold-storage pharmaceuticals in the healthcare sector. Europe and North America dominate the market for cold chain packaging on a regional scale. This is due to the high number of biopharmaceutical imports and exports in European and North American countries. These regions are also pioneers in the improvement of the shipping and storage of pharmaceutical products. Government regulations concerning the use of materials in cold chain packaging are also having an effect on the market.
Additionally, there is a strong demand for more sustainable designs, such as re-use programs, in order to reduce the carbon footprint. Changing regulations and standards have an influence on the demand for temperature-controlled packaging. For example, ISTA's (International Safe Transit Association) temperature profiles have been modified within the last five years. The market is anticipated to be impacted by these alterations.
Cold chain packaging plays a crucial role in preserving the quality of food because it aids in slowing the biological decay of the products and ensures the safety and quality of the food products consumed by the end-user. In addition, the increasing population has led to an increase in the consumption of preserved foods and beverages, which has increased the demand for cold chain packaging products and solutions. Organized retail has grown as a result of the demand for convenience in purchasing healthy foods. Food and beverage companies continue to prioritize food safety and preventative measures against food-borne illnesses as their top priority. Companies in the food industry use cutting-edge packaging materials and techniques, such as electrospun fibers and polymers derived from biological sources, to prevent the spread of food-borne pathogens.
So, the growing need to increase the shelf life of food and increasing demand for packaged food is giving a boost to the global cold chain packaging market.
Compared to another packaging, the adoption of cold chain packaging is an expensive endeavor. The materials used in the production of cold chain packaging are expensive, and certain materials, such as EPS and PUR, contribute to sustainability due to their unique properties. The costs of this material and the greater penetration of traditional packaging solutions are the most significant factors that may impede market growth during the forecast period.
Companies in the food processing and pharmaceutical industries are attempting to reduce their expenses and, as a result, are seeking packaging options that are optimized. The reusable cold chain packaging provides an optimized packaging solution that does not compromise the quality of the products. The demand for reusable packaging is fueled by the fact that reusable cold chain packaging solutions can significantly reduce costs and improve profit margins for food and pharmaceutical companies.
This market can be segmented on the basis of product, material, application, region, and competitors. In 2021, the segment of insulated containers and boxes led the market and represented more than 57 percent of the revenue share. This high share is attributable to the growing demand for reusable insulated containers in a variety of applications, including food processing, fruits, and vegetables. The segment is subdivided into large, medium, small, extra small, and petite payload categories. The market has also been divided into crates, cold packs, labels, and temperature-controlled pallet shippers based on the product. The segment of crates is subdivided further into applications such as dairy, pharmaceutical, fisheries, and horticulture.
From 2022 to 2030, the cold packs segment is anticipated to experience the highest CAGR of over 21 percent. During the forecast period, the segment of temperature-controlled pallet shippers is anticipated to grow at a rapid CAGR. Pallet shippers are available in LDPE, PUR, and EPS. The temperature-controlled pallet shippers are used specifically for shipments of frozen food, vaccines, and biological samples and specimens in bulk.
In 2021, the insulating materials segment dominated the market and represented over 65% of the revenue share. The insulating material segment is subdivided into EPS, PUR, Vacuum Insulated panels (VIP), and cryogenic tanks, among others. The other segment comprises insulating pouches, active thermal systems, and hard-cased thermal containers. The market for insulating materials is anticipated to remain dominated by EPS from 2022 to 2030. In 2019, EPS held the largest share.
Today's greatest challenge for food processing applications is maintaining the freshness of perishable goods while minimizing their impact on the environment. The use of synthetic refrigerants such as Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC), Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC), and Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) contributes to a variety of environmental issues, including ozone layer depletion and global warming. Consequently, the use of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Ammonia (NH3) provides sustainable refrigeration and serves as a long-term substitute for synthetic refrigerants.
The fish, meat, and seafood application led the market in 2021 and accounted for more than 25 percent of global revenue. This high proportion is a result of the United States and Brazil's increasing exports of meat products, including beef and chicken. Due to the fact that meat products are susceptible to natural, continuous, and irreversible bio-physiochemical changes, they must be stored at a suitable frozen temperature range during transport and storage. From 2022 to 2030, it is anticipated that the fruits and vegetable segment will grow at a CAGR of over 20%. To maintain the freshness of fruits and vegetables until they reach the end consumer, they must be appropriately refrigerated. Food producers and food processing companies can manage their operations more effectively with an efficient packaging solution.
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In 2021, North America dominated the market and accounted for over 34% of global revenue; this dominance is anticipated to persist throughout the forecast period. The high market share of North America can be attributed to the region's significant fragmentation due to the presence of a large number of major industry participants. In addition, the population's preference for fresh and organic foods such as fresh leafy vegetables, organic milk, and organic eggs is increasing, necessitating stringent packaging and handling measures at each level of storage and transit to prevent spoilage. This, in turn, contributes to the expansion of the regional market.
Due to the rapid economic growth in emerging countries, the Asia-Pacific is projected to be the fastest-growing region. Emerging economies like India, Singapore, Thailand, and China are anticipated to contribute to the expansion of the regional market. The Asia-Pacific pharmaceutical market will expand as a result of the growing geriatric population and high demand for medications. Population growth, rapid industrialization, the continued expansion of transportation and warehousing networks, and the rising demand for processed and canned foods are some of the factors that are anticipated to drive regional growth.