The global insulated shippers market size was valued at USD 6.5 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.0% from 2021 to 2028. Rising demand for organic fruits and vegetables across the globe is among the key driving factors for the industry. A large variety of foods and vegetables is being cultivated by employing organic methods across the world. Thus, these packaging products are widely incorporated to maintain the freshness of the produce during transportation.
Rising global demand for pharmaceutical products is another prominent factor fueling the demand for insulated shippers. The global pharmaceutical market is on the growth path owing to the rising prevalence of chronic diseases and the increasing aging population in countries such as China and Japan. Pharmaceutical products, such as blood, vaccines, and temperature-sensitive drugs, are usually transported in insulated shippers.
As far as sourcing of raw materials is concerned, large-sized organizations such as Sonoco Products Company and Sealed Air directly procure materials from manufacturers. These companies purchase raw materials in large quantities regularly and establish annual contracts with suppliers. On the other hand, small-scale companies in the market procure raw materials from either manufacturers or distributors as their requirement is not uniform. Therefore, long-term agreements usually do not exist in the market.
Manufacturers of insulated shippers use various types of liner material including paper, EPS, and metalized bubble wrap, among other materials. The application area of such materials is taken into consideration while they are manufactured. ABBE CORRUGATED PTY. LTD.; Sonoco Products Company; ICEE insulated folding boxes; and CP Cases Ltd. are among the key manufacturers of insulated shippers. Manufacturers in the market for insulated shippers also majorly offer the products to the food and pharmaceutical industries.
The global population is anticipated to increase by 1.24% per year until 2030. Furthermore, the proportion of people aged between 65 and 80 years is projected to rise to 28% by 2030 as compared to 22% in 2000. The aging population requires more medical assistance, thereby generating higher demand for pharmaceuticals. The aging population is predominantly rising in countries including Japan, China, Italy, and Germany. These factors are expected to favor market growth with increasing demand for insulated shippers over the forecast period.
The development of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) is generating significant traction in the packaging industry and is anticipated to limit the employment of insulated shippers around the world. MAP helps lockin the freshness and extend the shelf life of food products inside the packaging. In addition, it controls the blend of gases such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen inside the thermoform packaging. However, the high cost associated with the technology is discouraging clients from opting for MAP solutions.
The outbreak of COVID 19 from the beginning of 2020 severely disrupted the supply chain, retail distribution, and consumer behavior for numerous products and services across the world. However, the demand for insulated shippers remained unaffected in 2020 as the product is primarily utilized for packaging or transporting essential products including fresh produce, groceries, meals, meat and seafood, pharmaceuticals, biologicals, and others.
In addition, the COVID 19 outbreak subsequently led to the development of several vaccines throughout 2020. Most of these vaccines are temperature sensitive and thus insulated vaccines shippers are anticipated to be employed for their safe and secure distribution. Several companies including Insulated Products Corporation, Path-Tec, Cold Chain Technologies, among others introduced product lines for COVID 19 vaccine shipping. Therefore, the possible rollout of vaccines across the world is expected to augment market growth over the short term.
The EPS segment dominated the market for insulated shippers and accounted for the largest revenue share of 22.0% in 2020. The application of this material helps achieve a closed-cell within an insulated shipping box ideal for the packaging, insulation, and shipping of temperature-sensitive products ranging from easily perishable fruits and herbs to frozen seafood products. The superior shock-absorbing ability associated with EPS extends its scope of packaging to include expensive and fragile products such as wines, chemicals, electronic equipment, and pharmaceuticals and chemical products.
The Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) shippers segment is anticipated to grow at a significant rate over the forecast period. Ascending demand for efficient cold supply chain solutions has been boosting the growth of this segment. EPP in the form of boxes is designed to mainly target food professionals and players operating in logistics and health sectors. The performance of EPP boxes can be further improved by incorporating eutectic plates in the EPP box.
Eutectic plates are gaining popularity among prominent players in the insulated shippers industry owing to the high-performance technology they employ. The use of these plates is recommended for fresh food transportation and storage, most notably in multi-temperature systems.
The single-use segment dominated the market for insulated shippers and accounted for the largest revenue share of 62.8% in 2020. The single-use shippers with insulation are ideal for packaging a wide variety of products including seafood, laboratory samples, blood, medicines, cakes, chocolates, breast milk, cosmetics, vaccines, insulin, chemicals, and perishable products such as dairy items. These boxes also offer a broad spectrum of printing options including embossing, matt lamination, varnishing, glossy lamination, and UV coating.
The multiple-use insulated shippers segment is projected to progress at the fastest CAGR of 10.4% over the forecast period. Sustainability has emerged as the operative word contributing to the growth of this segment over the years. Logisticians and pharmaceutical companies, particularly, have taken an interest in adopting multiple-use boxes owing to various beneficial factors including lower logistical costs (temperature-controlled), sustainability, and simpler Product Lifecycle Management (PLM).
The home delivery segment dominated the market for insulated shippers and accounted for the largest revenue share of 35.3% in 2020. The segment is likely to retain its pole position over the forecast period. The mushrooming growth of retail chains, most notably supermarkets, has been contributing to the increased adoption rate of insulated shippers around the world. In this regard, the rising consumption of frozen food products, such as cheese and meat, has been contributing to the growth of the home delivery segment while also strengthening the market.
The market for insulated shippers has been witnessing a significant rise in the adoption of shipping boxes in the meal kits space over the past decade. Increasing demand for meal kits across the globe has increased the number of players in the meal kits space. EPS-based insulated shipping boxes are among the most widely used packaging options in the industry owing to various factors including lightweight, cost reduction, and ease of use.
Key manufacturers of insulated shippers in the market are offering boxes manufactured from biodegradable/compostable (environmentally-friendly) materials. For instance, Nature-Pack, the U.S.-based bioplastic manufacturer, makes insulated shipping boxes from renewable plant starches to emulate conventional oil-based materials (plastics) for the packaging of chocolate and chocolate-based products. Such first-to-market developments are expected to surface in the market for insulated shippers over the forecast period in a bid to reduce or eliminate the environmental impact.
Insulated shippers score high when it comes to domestic shipments of meat products. The meat segment is also driven by the presence of various regulations on the packaging and movement of these products. For instance, The Perishable Cargo Regulations (PCR) requires meat producers to use insulating materials within shipping boxes to ensure the retention of quality of meat and meat-based products. Such regulations are expected to increase the adoption rate of insulated shippers over the forecast period.
Asia Pacific dominated the insulated shippers market and accounted for the largest revenue share of 34.9% in 2020. The region is likely to dominate the industry over the forecast period. E-commerce companies in Asia Pacific, especially in China, largely prefer this product for the delivery of fresh produce and processed food.
In North America, the market is marked by a significant presence of online grocery stores that primarily prefer insulated shippers for the transportation of fruits and vegetables and processed foods. SPUD.ca; Longo Brothers Fruit Markets Inc.; Fresh City Farms, Inc.; Mama Earth Organics; Farm Fresh To You; and Imperfect Produce are some of the key online grocery providers operating in the region.
Paper-based solutions including corrugated boxes and insulated liners such as cellulose are expected to generate significant traction in the region over the forecast period. Growing environmental concerns in the market in North America over the use of plastic packaging materials, such as EPS, EPP, polyurethane, and others, are expected to further trigger the demand for sustainable packaging solutions such as paper in the coming years.
Growing stringent regulations pertaining to the use of plastic materials for packaging are expected to pose significant challenges for the manufacturers of insulated shippers in the European market. In 2018, the European Union imposed a ban on single-use plastic in the region and has been prompting packaging manufacturers to engage in the development of sustainable packaging solutions. A large number of market players operating in the region are anticipated to invest in sustainable packaging materials over the forecast period.
The market is highly fragmented with the presence of a sizable number of medium-sized companies. The key players mainly cater to the food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics industries. The insulated shippers’ industry has been witnessing a significant number of new product launches and expansions over the past few years. This can be attributed to the rising demand for shippers with proper insulation, mainly from dairy, confectionery, meat, fish, and general produce industries. Prominent market players are also focusing on the development of different liner materials owing to rising product demand and increasingly stringent regulations over the use of EPS across the world.
Key customers in the market mainly include producers and manufacturers of food products such as broccoli, tomatoes, corn, sprouts, strawberry, fish, pizza, dairy, chocolates, and others. Pharmaceutical companies indulged in the production of temperature-sensitive products such as insulin and drugs are also some of the key target customers for manufacturers of insulated shippers. Some of the prominent players in the insulated shippers market include:
Sonoco Products Company
FEURER Group GmbH
The Wool Packaging Company Limited
ICEE Insulated Folding Boxes
Dinkhauser Kartonagen GmbH
Insulated Products Corporation
PED Technologies Ltd
Polar Tech Industries, Inc.
Market size value in 2021
USD 7.2 billion
Revenue forecast in 2028
USD 13.9 billion
CAGR of 10.0% from 2021 to 2028
Base year for estimation
2017 - 2019
2021 - 2028
Volume in million units; revenue in USD million; CAGR from 2021 to 2028
Volume forecast, revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Material, type, end-use, region
North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa
U.S., Canada, Mexico; Germany, U.K., France, Italy Spain; China, Japan, South Korea, Australia; Brazil; Saudi Arabia
Key companies profiled
Sonoco Products Company; Sealed Air; FEURER Group GmbH; Sancell; The Wool Packaging Company Limited; Cool Pac; Cascades, Inc.; ICEE Insulated Folding Boxes; Dinkhauser Kartonagen GmbH; TemperPack; Icertech; Insulated Products Corporation; Cambro; PED Technologies Ltd.; Overath GmbH; Barth GmbH; Pelican BioThermal; Softbox; Olivo; Cryopak; Liviri; Sofrigam; Polar Tech Industries, Inc.
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This report forecasts revenue growth at 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 insulated shippers market report on the basis of material, type, end-use, and region:
Material Outlook (Volume, Million Units; Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)
Expanded Polypropylene (EPP)
Metalized Bubble Wrap
Vacuum Insulated Panels
Type Outlook (Volume, Million Units; Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)
End-use Outlook (Volume, Million Units; Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)
Regional Outlook (Volume, Million Units; Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)
Central & South America
Middle East & Africa
b. The global insulated shippers market size was estimated at USD 6.5 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 7.2 billion in 2021.
b. The insulated shippers market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.0% from 2021 to 2028 to reach USD 13.9 billion by 2028.
b. Single-use was the dominant type segment in terms of revenue, occupying over 62.8% in 2020 of the insulated shippers market.
b. Some of the key players in the insulated shippers market are Sonoco Products Company, Sealed Air, FEURER Group GmbH, Sancell, The Wool Packaging Company Limited, Cool Pac, Cascades, Inc., ICEE Insulated Folding Boxes, Dinkhauser Kartonagen GmbH, TemperPack, and Icertech.
b. The key factors that are driving the insulated shippers market include the increasing penetration of e-food delivery services coupled with the rising expansion of e-grocery distributors across the world.
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The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to a sudden pause to manufacturing activities across the globe, affecting the demand for plastics and also production & processing of them. The most critically impacted end-use segments of the plastics industry include automotive & transportation, consumer goods, industrial equipment, construction, and electronics. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.
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