US & Global Economic Impact Analysis and Forecasts

Freedonia analysts and economists are sharing their insights on how major events are impacting different parts of the US and global economies.

A Lasting Change Caused by the Pandemic: A Shift to E-Commerce

While the US economy has seen a number of changes due to the pandemic, one particularly stands out: the increasing use of e-commerce to purchase items that would have been normally bought in stores. US consumers have adopted the practice with gusto, as groceries, garments, and numerous other products being ordered with increasing regularity.

A recent article highlights some of the effects of shift to e-commerce on the US economy as a whole, such as:

  • strong demand for corrugated boxes, padded envelopes, and plastic films to help protect shipped goods
  • additional facilities to not only produce packaging materials but also to serve as the warehouses that store packages prior to their final delivery
  • delivery vehicles – and more importantly, drivers – to transport packagers to their purchasers

Indeed, the increasing role e-commerce is playing in the US market is encouraging many companies to play larger roles in the development of warehouses. For example, Nucor – a leading US steel products manufacturer – announced plans to purchase Hannibal Industries, a manufacturer of metal racking systems and related equipment for warehouses. The acquisition provides Nucor with an opportunity to expand into this market segment; furthermore, given Nucor’s extensive network of steel production and fabrication facilities, the company will be able to increase production of racking systems as more warehouses are completed – thus providing sales growth.

For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, particularly in the Packaging and Construction areas, as well as topics such as Global Material Handling. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.

  Consumer Goods      Covid-19      Industry Studies