Table of Contents
US demand to reach $7.3 billion in 2018
US demand for rigid bulk packaging is projected to reach $7.3 billion in 2018.
Growth will represent an improvement from the performance of the 2008-2013 period as manufacturing output and construction activity recover from postrecession troughs. Additionally, gains will be driven by expanded use of larger, higher value containers that are more cost effective than smaller containers with shorter service lives.
RIBCs to see fastest gains
The fastest gains are expected for rigid intermediate bulk containers (RIBCs) and material handling containers. In addition to an improved outlook for production activity, gains for these containers will be boosted by cost benefits over smaller or single-trip containers arising from factors such as greater reusability, and storage and handling efficiency. While RIBCs and material handling containers have higher initial costs than shorter life containers, their longer service lives and handling efficiencies can offer long term cost benefits to large scale users, especially in closed-loop distribution systems.
Plastic drums will also post above average gains based on cost and performance advantages over steel drums as well as enhanced corrosion resistance and barrier properties. Preventing faster gains will be competition from RIBCs as well as the entrenched position of steel and fibre drums in certain applications. RIBCs possess cost and space efficiency advantages over plastic drums in packaging large volumes.
Drums, the leading rigid bulk packaging segment in value terms in 2013, will face continued inroads by larger capacity containers. Nonetheless, drums will remain
widely used due to their relatively low cost and reusability, along with a good safety profile in the transport of hazardous materials. Drums are also favored by smaller volume users and those not able to accommodate RIBCs.
Chemicals, pharmaceuticals to be fastest growing market
The fastest market advances are expected in chemical and pharmaceutical uses. Growth will be fueled by a recovery in the manufacturing sector, which will fortify heightened demand for chemicals used in a wide range of manufactured goods. All major chemical segments will post improved performances from the 2008-2013 period, with pharmaceuticals expected to enjoy the fastest advances.Gains in the plastic, rubber, and fiber market will also accelerate, boosted by a rebound in demand for materials used in large volume markets such as construction and motor vehicles. Increased requirements for these basic materials will result in greater demand for packaging used with bulk quantities of chemicals, plastics, rubber, and fiber. In the food and beverage market, rigid bulk packaging opportunities will be helped by population gains, improved consumer spending growth, a recovery in the broader economy, and favorable prospects for value added food types. Growth in the agricultural
and horticultural market will reflect a recovery in the housing market, leading to heightened demand for horticultural consumables.
Durable goods markets will register a significant improvement, fueled by a marked acceleration in durable goods output, with healthy gains anticipated for products used in construction. Continued efforts to improve manufacturing efficiency via the implementation of just-intime manufacturing and closed-loop distribution systems will also favorably impact demand.
This upcoming industry study, Rigid Bulk Packaging, presents historical demand data (2003, 2008, 2013) plus forecasts for 2018 and 2023 by material, product and market. The study also considers market environment factors, evaluates company market share and profiles more than 30 US industry players.
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