The global insulated shippers market size was valued at USD 5.4 billion in 2018 and is likely to escalate at a CAGR of 7.2% over the forecast period. Rising demand for organic fruits and vegetables across the globe is among the key driving factors for the industry. A large variety of foods & 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 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 also majorly offer the products to 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. Aging population requires more medical assistance, thereby generating higher demand for pharmaceuticals. 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 packaging industry and is anticipated to limit the employment of insulated shippers around the world. MAP helps lock-in 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.
Paper-based insulated shippers emerged as the largest segment with a market share of 26.0% in 2018 and is expected to retain its dominant position in the market over the forecast period. Paper-based insulated shippers are most extensively employed in the industry. Paper-based packaging mainly involves the concept of cellulose insulation.
The production process of cellulose provides consistency to the insulation material that is similar to traditionally employed packaging materials, most notably wool-based materials. Notwithstanding the increasing production and consumption of paper-based insulation materials employing recycled content, their adoption rate has been declining over the years owing to the problem of wastepaper disposal across the globe.
Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) shippers segment is anticipated to grow at the fastest 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 insulated shippers industry owing to the high-performance technology they employ. The use of these plates is recommended for fresh food transportation & storage, most notably in multi-temperature systems.
In terms of type, the shippers market has been further bifurcated into two sub-segments, namely single use and multiple use. 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.
Multiple use insulated shippers segment is projected to progress at the fastest CAGR of 7.6% 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).
Based on end use, the insulated shippers market is segmented into home delivery, agriculture, fish, life sciences, and others. Home delivery emerged as the largest end-use segment for insulated shippers industry in 2018 and 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 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 light weight, 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, a 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 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. 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 insulated 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 emerged as the largest regional market for insulated shippers in 2018 and 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.
North America market is marked by a significant presence of online grocery stores that primarily prefer insulated shippers for the transportation of fruits & 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 box and insulated liners such as cellulose are expected to generate significant traction in the region over the forecast period. Growing environmental concerns in North American market 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. Key international market players include Sonoco Products Company, Sealed Air, FEURER Group GmbH, Sancell, The Wool Packaging Company Limited, Cool Pac, Cascades, Inc., ICEE insulated folding boxes, TemperPack, Icertech, Insulated Products Corporation, and Cambro. These players mainly cater to food & 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.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2014 - 2017
2019 - 2025
Revenue in USD Million & CAGR from 2019 to 2025
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East & Africa
Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
U.S., Germany, U.K., France, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Brazil
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This report forecasts revenue growth at a global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global insulated shippers market report based on material, type, end-use, and region:
Material Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)
Expanded Polypropylene (EPP)
Metalized Bubble Wrap
Vacuum Insulated Panels
Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
End-Use Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Central & South America
Middle East & Africa
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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.