The global corrugated board packaging market size was valued at USD 177.41 million in 2022. It is expected to reach USD 247.3 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 3.76% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Products made of corrugated board are intended to provide the highest level of protection for fragile, large, bulky, or high-value products during storage and transportation. The packaging product is strengthened by layers of corrugated board, which makes it more durable than ordinary cardboard. Corrugated cardboard uses a variety of liners, including kraft liners, test liners, and chip linear, to provide strength. The product's transit cushion is made of corrugated paperboard. Wood and metal packaging are replaced with corrugated packaging because it is natural, cost-effective, and 100% renewable.
Corrugated board packaging comes in various forms, including single-phase, single-wall, double-wall, triple-wall, and others. One or two sheets of linear board and a single flute are included in single-phase. One sheet of the corrugated medium is glued and sandwiched between two sheets of liner board in single-wall. A corrugated board packaging style known as double wallboard has two layers of the corrugated medium sandwiched between three layers of liner board. The term "triple wallboard" refers to the style that is thought to be the strongest of all styles because it has four layers of liner board in addition to three layers of corrugated medium.
To engage more consumers, packaging initiatives that promote sustainability and lightness are becoming more critical. Since many consumers and businesses are moving toward zero-waste compliance, sustainability is fast becoming the top development priority. Considering demographic and lifestyle changes, packaging manufacturers continually invest in innovation in both design and the materials used. The main product trends and innovations in the corrugated board industry are lightweight containerboards weighing fewer than 26 lbs/thousand square feet. It significantly contributed to a decrease in freight costs. The sector has also been fueled by creative fluting design, which offers superior printing and cost savings through efficient volume utilization.
One pulp and paper goods producer, Georgia-Pacific, reported that all its mills currently run at total capacity. The Atlanta-based corporation has been forced to purchase from smaller businesses to remain competitive. The largest forest products company in the country, International Paper, produced more than 2.7 million short metric tons in 2020, an increase of 2% over the previous year, according to the company's third-quarter earnings report. WestRock Co. makes one out of every five cardboard boxes produced in the US 50,000 people are employed by the corrugated packaging, paperboard, and containerboard manufacturer based in Atlanta. According to The Future of Corrugated Packaging in 2023, e-commerce is developing into a significant and high-growth opportunity for the corrugated packaging market. Corrugated packaging suppliers have much room to grow despite the recent economic slowdown, which has generally hurt e-commerce package/retail sales.
Since more than a century ago, corrugated boxes have been dependable, robust, and portable. However, difficulties are a part of longevity. The material used to make corrugated cardboard, also known as corrugated fiberboard, is a cellulose fiber, either new or recycled from previously used corrugated cardboard or other materials. However, because cellulose fibers are scarce, strict laws against deforestation are limiting market growth. To start with, roughly half of the world's forests have disappeared. Only about 22% of the world's old-growth forests are still intact, according to the World Resources Institute (WRI), even though afforestation replaces eight of the 13 million hectares lost annually. Initiatives for the sustainable use of forests and their products have therefore increased. To decrease the production of dioxins, many paper industries in North America are currently changing their methods of operation. Dioxin is a byproduct of paper production that causes cancer.
As sustainability becomes a crucial issue throughout the supply chain, corrugated board is becoming more and more common in packaging. Due to the pulp and paper industry's expertise in transforming these materials into the most recent iterations of containerboard, recycling is simple. Acceptance of corrugated protective formats over polymer-based competition like (EPS) foams has increased. The corrugated packaging market is expanding due to the rise of e-commerce and advancements in digital printing techniques. The demand for packaging will be significantly impacted by the quickly rising online sales, especially in the corrugated sector, which accounts for about 80% of the e-commerce market's demand. Although these do not need to be in retail-ready formats, corrugated cases are still used to ship goods and products to an online retailer's warehouse or fulfillment center. A new opportunity has arisen for corrugated board suppliers with delivery-friendly formats containing goods inside a die-cut interior due to the exposure of subscription box and meal kit services, which offer direct-to-consumer delivery of specialty food using a weekly or monthly subscription. Future demand for suppliers of this corrugated format will increase as e-commerce trade expands into the grocery industry.
The global corrugated board packaging market is segmented by end-user.
Based on the end user, the global market is bifurcated into processed foods, fresh food and produce, beverages, paper products, and electrical products.
The processed foods segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.83% during the forecast period. The corrugated board box is a popular packaging choice in the processed food industry. There are many different sizes and shapes of boxes. Customers are given a well-known container to enjoy their snacking in. The consumption of cereal, crackers and other snack foods packaged on paperboard spans several generations. There are paperboard boxes that are square and rectangle-shaped, as well as some unusually shaped ones. Some food packaging techniques, for instance, use hexagonal and triangular boxes. Due to people's busy lifestyles, there is an increase in the demand for convenience foods. As a result, fast-cooking processed food draws many customers. The growing population drives the need for processed food, which is convenient and healthy.
The quick-moving fresh produce industry must stay on top of market trends and industry rules while ensuring that costs are kept to a minimum and productivity is kept at a high level. The market's players can more efficiently and affordably use these packaging solutions with corrugated packaging to support sustainability objectives. Due to consumer awareness of who wants to live a healthy life, choose sustainable products, and improve their quality of life, the fresh food and produce market is experiencing a boom. Food waste levels for fruits and vegetables are very high in this market. According to estimates, nearly 50% of all European fruit and vegetable production is well-spent, and the growers want to avoid this happening during the supply chain's handling and transportation phases. Corrugated packaging must satisfy various end-user requirements in this market segment, including product protection, simple and secure handling, stackability, etc.
The global market is segmented by region: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant revenue contributor and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.18% during the forecast period. The escalating per capita income, shifting social climate, and demographics significantly impact the Chinese market. This change necessitates using new packaging materials, procedures, and forms. The growth of e-commerce behemoths like Alibaba is anticipated to drive the corrugated packaging market during the projection period. As health-consciousness trends become more popular, the packaging industry is searching for new materials to package food and beverages. These substances are thought to possess antibacterial properties and mechanical toughness, extending the product's shelf life. The consumption of packaged foods and the use of packaging materials in the nation are expected to rise as a result.
According to Australia's Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, China is constrained by its sparse and degraded agricultural resources, which has led to concerns about its capacity to meet the nation's increasing domestic food supply demand. To protect the product from damage and degradation brought on by climatic changes, the government must look for alternatives, such as importing food products. The region's corrugated packaging industry would profit as a result. China's paper packaging market is anticipated to grow due to factors including an expanding e-commerce package industry, falling pulp prices, and rising public awareness of environmentally friendly packaging.
Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.53% during the forecast period. One of the biggest markets in Europe is Germany. Domestic packaging production and consumption have continued to increase in the EU's largest economy. Around 19 million tons of packaging were produced in 2020, according to the Joint Committee of German Packaging Manufacturers (GADV). Most of the packaging, or about 47%, was made of paper and cardboard. Recyclability (44%) and product protection (38%) are the two aspects of packaging that matter most to German consumers when they shop online, according to the Innova Consumer Survey 2020. According to these statistics, consumers are increasingly choosing the recyclable protective packaging provided by corrugated boxes. Additionally, the move toward sustainable packaging is the main factor propelling the growth of the sector in the nation. This is because industry experts in the area have been warning about the enormous amounts of packaging waste and the rising resource consumption for packaging for a long time.
The USA has consistently been one of the world's largest producers and consumers of cardboard boxes due to the significant demand in its downstream industries. American exports of cardboard boxes are also rising steadily. One of the largest regions in North America, the United States, is exhibiting signs in the paper market due to the government's steps to ensure environmental safety. The increasing demand for paper results from people's shifting preferences for sustainable and biodegradable packaging materials. Additional factors anticipated to further fuel the growth of the target market over the forecast period include growing environmental concerns about the use of plastics and the focus of numerous organizations and governments on the development of sustainable packaging materials.
The Mexican industry is quite vibrant, expanding and diversifying along with the country's economy. Corrugated packaging is the focus of packaging businesses worldwide due to the rise of the one-stop online shop and convenience lifestyle, which enables manufacturers to ship and sell their products to end customers properly. Mexico, for instance, is seeing the fastest increase in contemporary retail packaging in Latin America's food, apparel, and healthcare sectors after Brazil. Most of the working population in Mexico lives in cities and leads busier lives than in the past. As a result, convenience is essential to the working class and teenagers in Mexico. Therefore, the country observes an increase in demand for such packaging in the market studied with the rise in the use of corrugated boxes for packaging and transporting items in various industries instead of Glass and Plastic.
In South Africa, there is an increasing need for packaging for food and drinks. Food and beverage manufacturing makes up the majority of the country's manufacturing sector, and the government is actively promoting the growth of agriculture and the agro-processing industry. The IMF projects that the GDP of the African continent will increase by more than 3.5% in 2020, which will boost the growth of the packaging industry due to growing consumer markets, rising individual incomes, an increase in the number of young consumers, and domestic economies. Paper is becoming increasingly popular because it protects products from moisture and can withstand lengthy shipping times, especially as a substitute for secondary or tertiary packaging.
The demand in the nation is being driven by processed foods like bread, cakes, and other perishable goods, which require these packaging materials to be used only once. Additionally, the rapid expansion of the corrugated packaging market in South Africa is a result of rising environmental consciousness among the populace, demand for environmentally friendly packaging options, demand for convenient packaging (which is partially offset by new single-use packaging regulations in some countries), expanding e-commerce, rising demand for electronic goods, home, and personal care products, as well as economic progress and rising per capita income.
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