Protective Packaging

Demand for protective packaging will benefit from strengthening Internet sales, using environmentally friendly materials like air pillows, paper fill products and custom boxes.

US demand to grow nearly 5% per year through 2019

Demand for protective packaging in the US is forecast to expand 4.9 percent per year to $6.8 billion in 2019, bolstered by strong gains in Internet shopping. As consumers purchase more products on-line, demand will increase for packaging which can protect these goods from shock, vibration, abrasion, and other damaging effects of shipping and handling. Continued growth in manu-facturing markets and acceleration in construction spending will also support increases for protective packaging, although gains will moderate from those during the 2009-2014 period.

Environmental concerns, Internet sales to change business model

The fulfillment of e-commerce sales will be the main driver of growth for protective packaging, supporting gains for products such as air pillows and protective mailers, which are used by various participants in the Internet shopping market. Large online retailers often use automated packaging machines to integrate inflated air pillows as a void fill material, while small businesses or entrepreneurs without access to major distribution and shipping facilities often use protective mailers, as these products are usually less costly to purchase and ship than rigid boxes. The burgeoning Internet-based grocery and meal-kit delivery market will support gains for products made from environmentally sustainable insulating products, such as reusable vacuum insulated panels and jute, as firms try to make their business as environmentally friendly as possible.

Environmental concerns will bring about a number of changes for protective packaging, primarily for goods delivered directly to consumers. For example, foam loose fill is being supplanted by air pillows and paper fill products in part due to concerns that foam is harmful to the environment. Likewise, the desire to reduce packaging weight and bulk has led to the introduction of packaging that is customized to the specific product. Custom boxes not only cut down on shipping costs, but can also serve as a marketing tool as firms look for ways to make shipping containers as aesthetically pleasing as display packaging. In manufacturing markets, environmental concerns will result in molded foams losing some share to molded pulp products for the shipment of both non-durable and durable goods. However, foam’s entrenched position in these markets will help to sustain its growth for some time.

Flexible packaging products, including protective mailers, bubble packaging, air pillows, paper fill products, and dunnage bags, will continue to dominate due to their cost efficiency and their ability to package a wide variety of goods. Foam protective packaging will comprise the second largest share of total demand, with established applications in manufacturing markets providing growth opportunities despite competition from rigid and flexible materials with more favorable environmental profiles. Foam products include insulated shipping containers, molded foams, foam-in-place polyurethane, rolled foam, and loose fill. Rigid protective packaging products account for the smallest portion of total demand. However, these products are expected to post healthy gains as molded pulp and paperboard protectors both benefit from a less variable pricing structure and trends toward sustainability.

Study coverage

This Freedonia industry study analyzes the $5.4 billion US protective packaging industry. It presents historical demand data (2004, 2009 and 2014) and forecasts (2019 and 2024) by function (cushioning, blocking and bracing, insulation, void fill, wrapping), market (manufacturing, non-manufacturing) and product (e.g., protective mailers, bubble packaging, air pillows, paper fill, dunnage bags, insulated shipping containers, molded foam, foam-in-place polyurethane, polyolefin rolled foam, loose fill, paperboard protectors, molded pulp). The study also considers market environment factors, details industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles 44 industry players, including Sealed Air, Sonoco Products, and Pregis.

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Purchase Protective Packaging by the Section

  1. Protective Packaging

    $5,400.00

    1. 1 INTRODUCTION

      $132.00

    2. 2 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

      $136.00

      1. Table | PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND

    3. 3 MARKET ENVIRONMENT

      $2,756.00

      1. 3.1 General

        $82.00

      2. 3.2 Macroeconomic Outlook

        $210.00

        1. Table | MACROECONOMIC INDICATORS

      3. 3.3 Consumer Income & Spending Trends

        $119.00

        1. Table | PERSONAL CONSUMPTION EXPENDITURES

      4. 3.4 Demographic Trends

        $187.00

        1. Table | POPULATION & HOUSEHOLDS

      5. 3.5 Manufacturing Outlook

        $230.00

        1. Table | MANUFACTURERS' SHIPMENTS

      6. 3.6 Electronic & Computer Trends

        $174.00

        1. Table | ELECTRONIC & COMPUTER PRODUCT SHIPMENTS

      7. 3.7 Appliance Trends

        $96.00

        1. Table | MAJOR HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCE SHIPMENTS

      8. 3.8 Retail Sales Outlook

        $192.00

        1. Table | RETAIL SALES

      9. 3.9 E-commerce & Catalog Sales Outlook

        $232.00

        1. Table | E-COMMERCE & MAIL ORDER SHOPPING SALES BY TYPE & PRODUCT

      10. 3.10 Packaging Industry Outlook

        $124.00

        1. Table | PACKAGING SUPPLY & DEMAND

      11. 3.11 Box Industry Outlook

        $123.00

        1. Table | CORRUGATED & PAPERBOARD BOX SHIPMENTS BY TYPE

      12. 3.12 Plastic Resin Outlook

        $183.00

        1. Table | PLASTIC RESIN SUPPLY & DEMAND

      13. 3.13 Plastic Foams Outlook

        $159.00

        1. Table | PLASTIC FOAMS DEMAND BY RESIN

      14. 3.14 Environmental Considerations

        $243.00

      15. 3.15 Regulatory Considerations

        $156.00

      16. 3.16 Pricing Trends

        $174.00

        1. Table | PROTECTIVE PACKAGING PRICES

      17. 3.17 International Activity

        $93.00

    4. 4 OVERVIEW

      $1,014.00

      1. 4.1 General

        $82.00

      2. 4.2 Products

        $135.00

        1. Table | PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND BY TYPE

      3. 4.3 Materials

        $138.00

        1. Table | PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND BY MATERIAL

        2. CHART III-1 PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND BY MATERIAL, 2014

      4. 4.4 Functions

        $400.00

        1. Table | PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND BY FUNCTION

        2. CHART III-2 PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND BY FUNCTION, 2014

        3. 4.4.1 Cushioning

          $82.00

        4. 4.4.2 Blocking & Bracing

          $82.00

        5. 4.4.3 Insulation

          $82.00

        6. 4.4.4 Void Fill

          $82.00

        7. 4.4.5 Wrapping

          $82.00

      5. 4.5 Markets

        $286.00

        1. Table | PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND BY MARKET

        2. CHART III-3 PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND BY MARKET, 2014

        3. 4.5.1 Manufacturing

          $111.00

          1. Table | MANUFACTURING MARKET FOR PROTECTIVE PACKAGING

        4. 4.5.2 Non-Manufacturing

          $115.00

          1. Table | NON-MANUFACTURING MARKET FOR PROTECTIVE PACKAGING

    5. 5 FLEXIBLE PROTECTIVE PACKAGING

      $1,460.00

      1. 5.1 General

        $110.00

        1. Table | FLEXIBLE PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND BY TYPE

        2. CHART IV-1 FLEXIBLE PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND BY TYPE, 2014

      2. 5.2 Protective Mailers

        $307.00

        1. Table | PROTECTIVE MAILER DEMAND BY TYPE & MARKET

        2. 5.2.1 Materials & Applications

          $100.00

        3. 5.2.2 Producers

          $119.00

      3. 5.3 Bubble Packaging

        $264.00

        1. Table | BUBBLE PACKAGING DEMAND BY MARKET

        2. 5.3.1 Materials & Applications

          $82.00

        3. 5.3.2 Producers

          $152.00

      4. 5.4 Air Pillows

        $280.00

        1. Table | AIR PILLOW DEMAND BY MARKET

        2. 5.4.1 Materials & Applications

          $82.00

        3. 5.4.2 Producers

          $134.00

      5. 5.5 Paper Fill

        $274.00

        1. Table | PAPER FILL PACKAGING DEMAND BY MARKET

        2. 5.5.1 Materials & Applications

          $82.00

        3. 5.5.2 Producers

          $164.00

      6. 5.6 Dunnage Bags

        $134.00

        1. Table | DUNNAGE BAG DEMAND BY MATERIAL & MARKET

        2. 5.6.1 Materials & Applications

          $82.00

        3. 5.6.2 Producers

          $82.00

      7. 5.7 Other Flexible Protective Packaging

        $91.00

        1. Table | OTHER FLEXIBLE PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND

    6. 6 PLASTIC FOAM PROTECTIVE PACKAGING

      $2,111.00

      1. 6.1 General

        $140.00

        1. Table | PLASTIC FOAM PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND BY TYPE

        2. CHART V-1 PLASTIC FOAM PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND BY TYPE, 2014

      2. 6.2 Insulated Shipping Containers

        $386.00

        1. Table | INSULATED SHIPPING CONTAINER DEMAND BY APPLICATION & MARKET

        2. 6.2.1 Materials & Applications

          $158.00

        3. 6.2.2 Producers

          $143.00

      3. 6.3 Molded Foam

        $758.00

        1. Table | MOLDED FOAM PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND

        2. 6.3.1 Expanded Polystyrene

          $328.00

          1. Table | MOLDED EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND BY MARKET

        3. 6.3.2 Polyolefins

          $244.00

          1. Table | MOLDED POLYOLEFIN PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND BY MARKET

        4. 6.3.3 Polyurethane

          $123.00

          1. Table | MOLDED POLYURETHANE PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND BY MARKET

      4. 6.4 Foam-in-Place Polyurethane

        $180.00

        1. Table | FOAM-IN-PLACE POLYURETHANE PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND BY MARKET

        2. 6.4.1 Materials & Applications

          $82.00

        3. 6.4.2 Producers

          $82.00

      5. 6.5 Polyolefin Rolled Foam

        $199.00

        1. Table | POLYOLEFIN ROLLED FOAM PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND BY MARKET

        2. 6.5.1 Materials & Applications

          $82.00

        3. 6.5.2 Producers

          $122.00

      6. 6.6 Loose Fill

        $354.00

        1. Table | LOOSE FILL PACKAGING DEMAND BY TYPE

        2. 6.6.1 Expanded Polystyrene Loose Fill

          $137.00

          1. Table | EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE LOOSE FILL PACKAGING DEMAND

        3. 6.6.2 Biodegradable Plastic Loose Fill

          $140.00

          1. Table | BIODEGRADABLE PLASTIC LOOSE FILL PACKAGING DEMAND

      7. 6.7 Other Foams

        $93.00

        1. Table | OTHER PLASTIC FOAM PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND

    7. 7 RIGID PROTECTIVE PACKAGING

      $734.00

      1. 7.1 General

        $91.00

        1. Table | RIGID PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND BY TYPE

        2. CHART VI-1 RIGID PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND BY TYPE, 2014

      2. 7.2 Paperboard Protectors

        $358.00

        1. Table | PAPERBOARD PROTECTOR DEMAND BY MARKET

        2. 7.2.1 Materials & Applications

          $147.00

        3. 7.2.2 Producers

          $156.00

      3. 7.3 Molded Pulp

        $153.00

        1. Table | MOLDED PULP PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND BY MARKET

        2. 7.3.1 Materials & Applications

          $82.00

        3. 7.3.2 Producers

          $82.00

      4. 7.4 Other Rigid Protective Packaging

        $131.00

        1. Table | OTHER RIGID PROTECTIVE PACKAGING DEMAND

    8. 8 INDUSTRY STRUCTURE

      $5,434.00

      1. 8.1 General

        $103.00

        1. Table | US PROTECTIVE PACKAGING SALES BY COMPANY, 2014

      2. 8.2 Market Share

        $285.00

        1. CHART VII-1 US PROTECTIVE PACKAGING MARKET SHARE, 2014

      3. 8.3 Acquisitions & Divestitures

        $169.00

        1. Table | SELECTED ACQUISITIONS & DIVESTITURES

      4. 8.4 Marketing & Distribution

        $141.00

        1. CHART VII-2 PROTECTIVE PACKAGING INDUSTRY FLOW CHART

      5. 8.5 Competitive Strategies

        $134.00

      6. 8.6 Cooperative Agreements

        $116.00

        1. Table | SELECTED COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS

      7. 8.7 Company Profiles

        $5,434.00

        1. 8.7.1 ACH Foam Technologies LLC

          $115.00

        2. 8.7.2 Alpek SAB de CV

          $82.00

        3. 8.7.3 American Excelsior Company

          $82.00

        4. 8.7.4 Automated Packaging Systems Incorporated

          $101.00

        5. 8.7.5 Barnhardt Manufacturing Company

          $82.00

        6. 8.7.6 BASF SE

          $82.00

        7. 8.7.7 Bayer AG

          $82.00

        8. 8.7.8 Buckeye Corrugated Incorporated

          $82.00

        9. 8.7.9 Caraustar Industries Incorporated

          $152.00

        10. 8.7.10 Carpenter Company

          $82.00

        11. 8.7.11 Cascades Incorporated

          $287.00

        12. 8.7.12 Cellofoam North America Incorporated

          $98.00

        13. 8.7.13 Cold Chain Technologies Incorporated

          $202.00

        14. 8.7.14 Ecovative Design LLC

          $84.00

        15. 8.7.15 Foam Fabricators Incorporated

          $82.00

        16. 8.7.16 Free-Flow Packaging International Incorporated

          $156.00

        17. 8.7.17 Great Northern Corporation

          $106.00

        18. 8.7.18 Huntington Foam LLC

          $82.00

        19. 8.7.19 Huntsman Corporation

          $82.00

        20. 8.7.20 Jarden Corporation

          $98.00

        21. 8.7.21 Landaal Packaging Systems Incorporated

          $82.00

        22. 8.7.22 Marko Foam Products Incorporated

          $82.00

        23. 8.7.23 Menasha Corporation

          $119.00

        24. 8.7.24 NOVA Chemicals Corporation

          $88.00

        25. 8.7.25 Packaging Corporation of America

          $125.00

        26. 8.7.26 Polar Tech Industries Incorporated

          $113.00

        27. 8.7.27 Polyair Inter Pack Incorporated

          $138.00

        28. 8.7.28 Pregis Corporation

          $287.00

        29. 8.7.29 Protective Packaging Solutions LLC

          $82.00

        30. 8.7.30 Ranpak Corporation

          $149.00

        31. 8.7.31 Ring Companies

          $82.00

        32. 8.7.32 Rogers Foam Corporation

          $82.00

        33. 8.7.33 Sealed Air Corporation

          $444.00

        34. 8.7.34 Signode Industrial Group LLC

          $259.00

        35. 8.7.35 Smurfit Kappa Group plc

          $219.00

        36. 8.7.36 Sonoco Products Company

          $184.00

        37. 8.7.37 Specialized Packaging Group LP

          $184.00

        38. 8.7.38 Storopack Hans Reichenecker GmbH

          $210.00

        39. 8.7.39 TCP Reliable Incorporated

          $146.00

        40. 8.7.40 3M Company

          $87.00

        41. 8.7.41 True Pack Limited

          $82.00

        42. 8.7.42 UFP Technologies Incorporated

          $140.00

        43. 8.7.43 Valley Container Incorporated

          $122.00

        44. 8.7.44 WestRock Company

          $223.00

      8. 8.8 Additional Companies in Protective Packaging

        $161.00

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