GVR Report cover Corrugated Board Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Corrugated Board Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Flute Type (A, B, C, E, F), By Board Style (Single Face, Single Wall, Double Wall, Triple Wall), By Region (Europe, APAC, North America), And Segment Forecasts, 2021 - 2028

  • Published Date: Jun, 2021
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2020
  • Report ID: GVR-4-68039-454-2
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2017 - 2019
  • Number of Pages: 127

Report Overview

The global corrugated board market size was valued at USD 90.79 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5% from 2021 to 2028. Rising demand for greener packaging solutions and increasing packaging needs of e-commerce platforms are anticipated to drive market growth. Corrugated boards, derived from pulp & paper, are highly recyclable than plastic packaging. The fluting medium present in the corrugated board acts as a shock absorber, thereby protecting packaged goods from external impact. These containers can withstand high pressure, wherein various thicknesses and layers of the flutes provide benefits, such as cushioning, to protect packaged products.

U.S. corrugated board market size, by board style, 2017 - 2028 (USD Million)

The single wall segment led the market in the U.S. in 2020 owing to a wide application scope of these products in industries, such as personal care, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical. In addition, single-wall corrugated boards are used in the e-commerce sector for the packaging of smaller and compact items, which contributes to the segment’s high share. Products made from corrugated boards find applications in several end-use industries, such as food packaging, food service, electronics, and healthcare. Many food production & processing companies use corrugated boards to pack products, such as snacks, Ready-to-Eat (RTE) meals, meat, fruits, and produce.

Companies offering various food services also use corrugated board products for serving or packaging meals. For instance, corrugated boxes used in pizza packaging are gaining traction among restaurant chains. The trend of online retailing is likely to boost market growth with the rising need for e-commerce packaging. The COVID-19 has further highlighted the significance of online ordering services in 2020 as strict lockdowns were imposed across most countries with limited access only to essentials.

Online retail companies are increasingly replacing most packaging materials with corrugated packaging to promote their brands in terms of sustainability. Old Corrugated Containers (OCC) are primarily used for making corrugated boards along with virgin pulp. The strong demand for corrugated boards, particularly after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, is expected to increase OCC prices over the forecast period. The increased raw material price is likely to affect the prices of final products.

Moreover, the lack of durability of paper-based corrugated boards over other packaging options, such as plastics, would limit the market growth. Therefore, the companies are focusing on developing new products with high quality, which can cater to the varied demands of customers. For instance, Mondi invested USD 36.21 million in state-of-the-art corrugators to make packaging solutions that can potentially replace transport containers made from metal or solid wood.

Flute Type Insights

C-Flute held the highest revenue share of 29.4% in 2020. It is commonly used for shipping cases, packaging glass products, furniture, and products in the automotive industry. For instance, Mondi offers corrugated products for automotive applications, where they can be used for packaging engines, metal body parts, windshields, airbags, and car headliners. These are stackable and have higher compression strength due to the presence of a comparatively thick corrugated medium. A-flute is coarse and majorly used for transit packaging due to its greater thickness that provides an increased level of protection. A-flute has about 5 mm thickness that gives a higher cushioning effect, stiffness, and lateral crush resistance to packaged goods.

Higher thickness enables stacking and the ability to withstand pressure, thereby resisting bending & further damage. Therefore, the A-flute segment is expected to grow rapidly over the forecast period. E-flute is a micro flute with a thin layer of corrugating medium. A lower thickness of 1/16th inch also reduces the space required for its storage, additionally, a flat structure allows high-quality printing to be done on the surface. It can also be utilized for pizza boxes as a cost-effective packaging option. For instance, WestRock Company offers corrugated pizza boxes, pizza slice boxes, and 'take-and-bake' pizza boxes in E-flute corrugated boards.

The thickness of F-flutes, which is lower than E-flute, allows reduced usage of paper fiber required for making a rigid package, which helps minimize solid waste. As per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), corrugated boxes generated about 33.3 million tons of municipal solid waste in 2018 in the U.S. Manufacturers are focusing on lowering the usage of fibers to create eco-friendly solutions and save on freight & shipping costs. For instance, Georgia-Pacific is concentrating on offering smaller flutes and graphics-oriented linerboards to provide printable surfaces.

Board Style Insights

The single-wall board style segment held the highest revenue share of over 38% in 2020. It can be used as a supplemental protective material, as a divider, pad, or partition inside an outer packaging. These forms of board-style allow easy printing, wherein different coatings can also be applied on its surface. It reduces the weight of the boxes, thereby lowering shipping costs. Therefore, the segment is expected to register the fastest CAGR during the forecast period.

Single-face boards are also used as an inner packaging material to keep the individual items separate in outer packaging and offer added protection to the packaged goods.  Single-face boards have relatively lower durability than other types due to the presence of a single fluted medium attached to the linerboard. However, it offers a sustainable solution against bubble wrap or loose-fill protective products derived from plastic. Double-wall boards can be used for stacking and reinforcing applications and for separating fanfold.

Global corrugated board market share, by board style, 2020 (%)

As per the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), boxes made up of a Corrugated Fibre Board (CFB) of 5-ply (that is, double-wall board) are used for packaging mangoes exported from India. These boxes are suitable to be shipped by different modes of transportation, such as by air or road. Therefore, it is used to make carton boxes, wherein the additional layers of paper in the structure offer crush resistance to the packed goods.

Triple-wall corrugated board with three corrugating mediums can withstand higher mechanical stress due to the additional layers of fluted paper. Therefore, it is used in the packaging and shipping of bulky products. It is lighter in weight as compared to crates made from wooden material used for transporting heavyweight packages. Thus, it offers a high-strength, cost-effective, and sustainable alternative to traditional timber- or metal-based packaging used for heavyweight products.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific dominated the market with a revenue share of 37% in 2020. Rapid urbanization in highly populated countries, such as China, India, and Indonesia, drives the demand for packaging products. Growing awareness about the environment is expected to result in increased demand for greener packaging solutions driving the market growth. Government initiatives to ban plastic packaging in several Asian countries are also expected to accelerate product consumption. It is also anticipated to be the fastest-growing regional market, in terms of revenue, from 2021 to 2028.

A rise in the demand for electronic goods, automotive parts, home care, and beauty & personal care products, from domestic and international markets, is expected to fuel the demand for corrugated boxes, thereby driving the market growth. For instance, as per the report, 'China's Growing Role in U.S. Automotive Supply Chains', published in August 2019 by the U.S. International Trade Commission, claimed that export of automotive parts from China under HS 8708 was valued at USD 12.2 billion in 2007 that increased to USD 34.8 billion in 2018.

Therefore, a growing foothold of companies from the Asia Pacific region in the packaging of various products is expected to propel market growth. In North America, the growing trend of digitization along with increasing usage of electronic items, automotive, and health and wellness-related products is anticipated to increase demand for their packaging. Regulations pertaining to environmental safety coupled with the rising need for easy-to-handle and readily disposable packaging solutions in the region are expected to drive the product demand.

Europe accounted for more than 23% of the overall volume share in 2020. The growth of this market can be attributed to the wide product application scope in the regional processed food and electronics industries. As per The European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (Fefco) Annual Statistics 2019, about 26.8% of the total shipment of corrugated board was captured by the processed food sector in Italy as a percentage of turnover, followed by beverages at 11.4%, dairy products at 10%, and 6.2% for FMCG. Corrugated boxes provide a hygienic solution for goods transportation at long distances; therefore, it is majorly used for food products prone to contamination or damage.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The market is highly fragmented, which has increased the competition between players. Companies are therefore focusing on allied services and related machinery solutions to have a competitive advantage and cater to the clients’ specific needs. For instance, WestRock Company offers automated packaging machines customized as per the complexities of distribution & logistics of customers’ products. Corrugated boards intended to be used for pharmaceutical and food packaging are majorly derived from virgin fiber to prevent contamination by offering higher safety to products.

The players are using recycled fiber along with virgin pulp for making these products. However, the paper fibers cannot be re-used in the same value chain after several recycling rounds. This has generated a constant requirement for virgin fiber in the market. Therefore, companies are focusing on vertical integration through acquiring forest lands for obtaining raw materials for wood pulp. For instance, International Paper is a vertically integrated manufacturer that owned approximately 314,000 acres of forestlands in Brazil in December 2020.

Market players are adopting various strategies, such as mergers & acquisitions and new product development, to widen the product portfolio and strengthen their presence in the global market. For instance, in March 2021, International Paper acquired two corrugated packaging businesses in Spain - Cartonatges Trilla S.A., Tarragona, and La Gaviota, S.L., Madrid. The acquisitions were made to expand its presence in Spain and strengthen its position in the EMEA region. Some of the prominent players in the global corrugated board market include:

  • International Paper

  • Georgia-Pacific

  • WestRock Company

  • Packaging Corporation of America

  • Stora Enso

  • Oji Holdings Corporation

  • Smurfit Kappa

  • Port Townsend Paper Company

  • Mondi

  • DS Smith

Corrugated Board Market Report Scope 

Report Attribute

Details

Market size value in 2021

USD 96,983.6 million

Revenue forecast in 2028

USD 149,740.8 million

Growth rate

CAGR of 6.5% from 2021 to 2028

Base year for estimation

2020

Historical data

2017 - 2019

Forecast period

2021 - 2028

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million, volume in million tons, and CAGR from 2021 to 2028

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, volume forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Flute type, board style, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S.; Canada Mexico; U.K.; Germany; France; Italy; Spain; China; Japan; India; South Korea; Brazil; South Africa

Key companies profiled

International Paper; Georgia-Pacific; WestRock Company; Packaging Corporation of America; Stora Enso; Oji Holdings Corporation; Smurfit Kappa; Port Townsend Paper Company; Mondi; DS Smith

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

Pricing and purchase options

Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options

 

Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2017 to 2028. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global corrugated board market report on the basis of flute type, board style, and region:

  • Flute Type Outlook (Volume, Million Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • A-Flute

    • B-Flute

    • C-Flute

    • E-Flute

    • F-Flute

    • Others

  • Board Style Outlook (Volume, Million Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • Single Face

    • Single Wall

    • Double Wall

    • Triple Wall

  • Regional Outlook (Volume, Million Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • U.K.

      • Germany

      • France

      • Italy

      • Spain

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Japan

      • India

      • South Korea

    • Central & South America (CSA)

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa (MEA)

      • South Africa

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