Protective Packaging in the US by Product and Market, 9th Edition

Robust Growth in E-Commerce Boosts Protective Packaging Demand

Protective Packaging

E-commerce’s share of the retail sector has continued to grow rapidly in the past decade or so. However, that share remains small, suggesting continued market potential. Going forward, e-commerce is expected to expand beyond the areas of the retail landscape where it first made an impact – such as consumer electronics and recorded media. E-commerce is now reaching into such high-volume segments of the retail sector as groceries and ordinary household products.

Key Findings in the Protective Packaging Study

Flexible Protective Packaging Leads Growth

Flexible protective packaging products are expected to register the fastest growth through 2021, partly because of their dominance in e-commerce applications. However, in manufacturing applications, flexible products are finding increasing use due to their light weight and recyclability. Inflatable products also offer the benefit of being shipped flat, more or less like plastic films, then being inflated when used.

Foam Protective Packaging Maintains Position in Manufacturing Applications

While foam products such as expanded polystyrene receive scrutiny for their environmental impact, their low cost, versatility, and strong performance characteristics have helped them retain a significant market position in manufacturing applications. Specialized foam products such as insulated shipping containers for food and temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals offer better than average growth prospects.

Rigid Protective Packaging Offers “Green” Credentials & Performance

Paperboard protectors and molded pulp packaging, which are both made from recycled materials and recyclable themselves, are widely used in manufacturing applications. Paperboard protectors act as edge and corner protectors, and dividers. Molded pulp competes with foam in numerous applications, as it promotes a greener image.

Study Coverage

This industry study presents historical demand data (2006, 2011, and 2016) and forecasts for 2021 by product (flexible, foam, and rigid) and market (durable goods manufacturing, nondurable goods manufacturing, e-commerce). The study also evaluates company market share and competitive analysis on industry competitors including Pregis, Sealed Air, Signode Industrial Group, and Sonoco Products.

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