CLEVELAND, Ohio – Global demand for corrugated shipping boxes is projected to rise 12 percent annually to 12.5 billion square meters in 2023 on the back of e-commerce demand, according to a new report by the Freedonia Group.
Corrugated boxes are used to ship virtually any type of merchandise purchased via e-commerce and are relatively low cost, strong, durable and recyclable.
The Asia/Pacific region will account for the majority of gains (62 percent) primarily due to:
- continued fast expansion of the Chinese e-commerce market, the largest in the world;
- rising consumer incomes and internet penetration across the region allowing more people to begin shopping online for the first time;
- the development of order-fulfillment infrastructure that facilitates cross-border shipping;
- increasing consumer comfort with purchasing fragile or high-value products online that may require larger or sturdier boxes.
In North America and Western Europe, e-commerce box demand is supported by:
- the large number of orders per person, as most consumers shop online;
- wide use of online shopping subscriptions that offer free shipping for nearly any order, which encourage more frequent orders;
- widespread consumer comfort with purchasing fragile or high-value products online, which often require higher value boxes to ship;
- rising popularity of higher-value custom boxes with high-quality graphics.
However, right-sizing trends in these well-established e-commerce markets will restrain faster growth as the value of commodity-type boxes used in e-commerce decreases as boxes being smaller and using fewer materials per order.