Smithers' latest market report ‘The Future of Industrial Packaging to 2024’ forecasts steady growth in demand for industrial packaging across the next five years, with market value rising from $56.2 billion this year at a CAGR of 3.3% to reach $66.0 billion in 2024.
Overall demand in this sector will always closely follow international trade flows; however there are other far-reaching factors that may facilitate greater product innovations and evolutionary restructuring of value chains and business models. With shifts in end-use demands across the five years to 2024, ‘The Future of Industrial Packaging to 2024’ identifies the following key drivers and trends for the industrial packaging industry today:
Ongoing migration to developing regions – Manufacturing economies and demand for industrial packaging products will continue to migrate to China, India, and the emerging and developing nations of Asia, Africa and elsewhere – especially among lower-value, less technically demanding manufactured goods.
Potential trade and tariff disputes – Industrial packaging consumption growth is driven by the state of the global manufacturing economy, and by the state of global and regional economies and trade. While overall forecasts point to relatively stable global and regional business environment, ongoing trade and tariff disputes – Brexit, NAFTA, China vs. US protectionism, for example – have potential to impact future industrial packaging use.
Safety, health, regulatory – No major changes in the regulatory environment for industrial packaging is expected. Manufacturers in developing regions may face challenges in adapting to international standards, such as those regarding transport of dangerous goods. Industry will continue to implement evolutionary improvements in durability and fire safety of plastic drums and IBCs.
‘Smart packaging’ – Integration of packaging materials with sensor and communications technologies, logistics functions and management information systems will allow real-time monitoring and analysis of status and condition of valuable shipments.
Package innovation – Suppliers of materials, especially plastics, will continue to provide evolutionary improvements to key raw materials: greater puncture, cracking and abrasion resistance; greater strength and rigidity to support downgauging; improved chemical resistance; and barrier properties.