The global packaging industry witnessed growth of more than $900 billion in 2019, and is witnessing growth despite the COVID-19 pandemic. This would be primarily due to the rising demand for consumer products, including food, drinks, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and chemicals. The demand for corrugated packaging, especially corrugated boxes, will witness growth owing to their high structural strength, puncture resistance, and stacking strength. Due to these factors, the global corrugated boxes market is expected to generate $284.6 billion by 2030, advancing at a CAGR of 4.3% during the forecast period (2020–2030).
Despite the economic slowdown due to COVID-19, the packaging industry has continued to serve other industries. Additionally, the manufacturers of corrugated boxes have continued to work, to make packaging boxes available to the manufacturers of essential products, including food products, medical products, and hygiene products, amid the pandemic situation. Owing to the unorganized nature of this industry, the demand for corrugated boxes was mostly met by local vendors.
Single-Wall Category Dominated Market for Corrugated Boxes Historically
On the basis of board style, corrugated boxes of single-wall boards held the largest market share in the past and is expected to remain the same during the forecast period, owing to their high compatibility with C flute, which is considered a medium-sized flute; the B flute, which is a fine flute; and the E flute, which is considered a micro-flute. Since these boxes are made out of single-wall corrugated boards, which are lightweight, they are used for carrying low-weight objects.
Further, on the basis of box style, the telescope boxes category is expected to witness the fastest growth during the forecast period. Telescope corrugated boxes are made as two pieces of half-slotted cartons: an inner box, which is the bottom piece, made slightly smaller, to enable it to be inserted into the outer box, which is the top piece or the lid, which provides structural integrity to the boxes. Owing to the high double-walled strength due to the overlapping of the top lid, these boxes are preferred for packaging heavy industrial products. In addition, owing to their availability in assorted sizes, they are used for packaging large products, including lamps, umbrellas, and flowers.
Geographically, the corrugated boxes market in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is expected to witness lucrative growth, due to the easy availability of raw material and increasing government initiatives to support sustainable development. Furthermore, China’s high industrial production can be viewed as an important growth driver for the corrugated boxes market in the region. Over the years, the country has emerged as one of the leading exporters of consumer electronics and automotive parts in the world. Besides, corrugated boxes are widely used in trade activities, owing to their suitability as a convenient packaging solution and lower cost as compared to other packaging materials.
Mergers & Acquisitions Are Strongest Measures Taken by Players in Market
Players in the corrugated boxes market are entering into mergers and acquisitions, in order to have a wider reach. For instance, in March 2020, Klabin S.A. announced the acquisition of the Brazilian corrugated packaging business of International Paper Company for $64.7 million. The business has the annual capacity of producing one million tons of corrugated packaging at three containerboard mills and four box manufacturing plants in Brazil.
Furthermore, in December 2018, Smurfit Kappa Group acquired Papcart SAS, in order to strengthen its packaging business in France. The production facility of Papcart SAS, which includes production, storage, and office facilities, is spread in 50,000 square meters. The acquired company offers carboard and consumer boards for corrugated packaging, along with offset printing, which is required for the production of corrugated boxes.
Some of the major players operating in the global corrugated boxes market are International Paper Company, WestRock Company, Georgia-Pacific LLC, Smurfit Kappa Group, Mondi plc, Packaging Corporation of America, Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Limited, Oji Holdings Corporation, DS Smith Plc, Stora Enso Oyj, VPK Packaging Group NV, and Wertheimer Box Corporation.