GVR Report cover Returnable Packaging Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Returnable Packaging Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Material (Plastics, Metal), By Product (Pallets, IBCs), By End-use (Food & Beverage, Healthcare), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2023 - 2030

  • Report ID: GVR-4-68039-080-4
  • Number of Report Pages: 130
  • Format: PDF, Horizon Databook
  • Historical Range: 2018 - 2021
  • Forecast Period: 2023 - 2030 
  • Industry: Bulk Chemicals

Returnable Packaging Market Size & Trends

The global returnable packaging market size was valued at USD 109.34 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.0% from 2023 to 2030. The global market for returnable packaging is anticipated to be driven by the growing demand for sturdy and durable material handling solutions. Returnable packaging eliminates packaging waste going into landfills and thus is highly sustainable. Increasing adoption of sustainable packaging solutions by end-users to improve their brand reputation, coupled with rising regulatory pressure regarding the use of plastic packaging, is expected to fuel market growth. North America has a robust food & beverage industry, with a strong cold storage chain network across the region.

U.S. Returnable Packaging market size and growth rate, 2023 - 2030

For the movement of food & beverage items throughout the cold chain network, sturdy returnable plastic pallets are preferred over single-use wood pallets, as in moisture, wood pallets are likely to promote bacterial and fungal growth once wet. Thus, higher food & beverage movement throughout the cold chain is expected to benefit the reusable packaging market in the region. The trend towards recyclable packaging in North America is rapidly increasing as more companies realize the benefits of using sustainable packaging solutions. This trend is driven by several factors, including rising awareness about environmental issues, rising demand for eco-friendly packaging solutions, and government initiatives to promote sustainable development.

One of the major trends in returnable packaging is the use of durable materials such as plastic, metal, and wood that can be reused many times before being recycled or disposed of. These materials offer a cost-effective and environment-friendly alternative to single-use packaging, which generate large amounts of waste and cause environmental concerns.

Pallets dominated the product segment in 2022 in the U.S. market and this segment is expected to maintain its dominance over the forecast period. This is owing to the rise of e-commerce in the country, which has led to an increase in the volume of goods being shipped, thus placing a greater emphasis on efficient and effective supply chain management. Returnable pallets can help to streamline the shipping process, reduce the risk of damage to goods, and lower transportation costs.

Moreover, the use of returnable pallets offers several advantages, including reduced waste, improved efficiency, and cost savings. As a result, more companies are adopting these pallets as part of their supply chain management practices. The use of returnable pallets can help companies meet sustainability goals and reduce their negative environmental impact.

Material Insights

Based on material, the returnable packaging market is segmented into plastic, metal, and wood. The plastic segment accounted for the largest market share of over 63% in 2022. Packaging solutions produced from plastic films such as high-density polypropylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PE) are easily cleanable and are resistant to corrosion, harsh climate, and solvents. They are extremely capable of handling shocks during transport and are easy to handle with a forklift and other material-handling equipment.

Plastic packaging solutions resist chemicals and can handle all types of weather conditions, making them perfect for the pharmaceutical, chemical, food, and beverage industries, which is expected to fuel the market growth for this segment.

The metal segment is anticipated to progress at a rapid CAGR of 6.7% during the forecast period, owing to the high strength, durability, and impact resistance properties of this material. Stringent regulation towards the use of plastics in regions like Europe and North America is expected to augment the demand for metal packaging solutions over the forecast period.

Product Insights

Based on product, the market is categorized into pallets, crates, intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), drums & barrels, dunnage, and others. Pallets dominated the returnable packaging market in 2022 with the highest revenue share of 56.87% and are expected to maintain their dominance by 2030. Materials like wood, plastics, steel, and aluminum are commonly used for manufacturing pallets. High load handling capacity and higher handling & storage efficiencies are driving the demand for pallets in the global market.

The IBCs segment is expected to expand at a substantial CAGR of 7.1% during the forecast period. Growing pharmaceutical and chemical sectors in developing and emerging markets like Brazil, India, and China are expected to drive the demand for IBCs in the global market. The penetration of IBCs in the beverage industry is rapidly increasing. This, coupled with the growing demand for sustainable and cost-effective packaging solutions from these industries for international trade, is expected to drive the demand for IBCs.

End-use Insights

Based on end-use, the market is further subdivided into food & beverage, automotive, consumer durables, healthcare, and others. The food & beverage segment recorded the highest market share of over 34% in 2022, due to the development of innovative products such as intermediate bulk containers, rigid intermediate bulk containers, and flexible intermediate bulk containers. Moreover, flexitanks are gaining popularity in the bulk transport of food & beverages, owing to low cost, high efficiency, and high storage capacity.

Global Returnable Packaging Market share and size, 2022

The healthcare segment is projected to expand at a significant CAGR of 6.9% during the forecast period from 2023 to 2030, owing to the remarkable growth in demand for pharmaceutical and healthcare products. Medical OEMs and equipment manufacturers use returnable packaging solutions for the transportation of various equipment such as ventilators, oxygenators, heart rate monitors, and others.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific dominated the regional segment with a market share of over 36% in 2022, owing to the rapidly developing manufacturing sector in the region, especially in countries such as India, China, and Japan. Furthermore, the availability of raw materials such as plastic and metal is very high in the region.

Returnable Packaging Market Trends, by Region, 2023 - 2030

For instance, China alone holds 30% of global plastic production, which benefits manufacturers in terms of raw material availability and costs. China is a key economy in the Asia Pacific market for returnable packaging, holding a share of over 44% in 2022, and is the largest importer and exporter of food & beverage and agri-food products.

North America held the second largest market share of over 26% in 2022 due to large-sized pharmaceuticals, food & beverages, and automotive companies in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. The sturdy nature, low cost, and low weight of plastic-based reusable packaging containers are mainly attributed to the segment’s highest share in 2022. Moreover, the trend towards recyclable packaging in the region is rapidly increasing as more companies realize the benefits of using sustainable packaging solutions, which is further driving the market growth.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The market for returnable packaging is highly competitive with the presence of both global and regional companies. Companies operating in the market offer a wide range of products that are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Moreover, they offer custom packaging products to suit customer-specific requirements.

The market has also witnessed several new product launches and mergers and acquisitions over the last few years. For instance, in April 2023, Brambles announced the completion of a merger between CHEP China, a returnable packaging manufacturer, and LOSCAM China, a pooling and returnable packaging solutions provider for supply chains. This merger will help Brambles in meeting the increasing demand for returnable packaging solutions with an effective supply chain. Some of the prominent players operating in the global returnable packaging market are:

  • ORBIS Corporation


  • PPS Midlands Limited

  • Tri-pack Packaging Systems Ltd.

  • Amatech, Inc.

  • CHEP

  • Celina

  • UBEECO Packaging Solutions

  • RPR Inc.

  • RPP Containers

  • IPL, Inc.

  • Schoeller Allibert

Returnable Packaging Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2023

USD 115.39 billion

Revenue forecast in 2030

USD 173.05 billion

Growth rate

CAGR of 6.0% from 2023 to 2030

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2018 - 2021

Forecast period

2023 - 2030

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million/billion and CAGR from 2023 to 2030

Report coverage

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

Segments covered

Material, product, end-use, region

Regional scope

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

Country scope

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

Key companies profiled

ORBIS Corporation; NEFAB GROUP; PPS Midlands Limited; Tri-pack Packaging Systems Ltd.; Amatech, Inc.; CHEP; Celina; UBEECO Packaging Solutions; RPR Inc.; RPP Containers; IPL, Inc.; Schoeller Allibert

Customization scope

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Global Returnable Packaging Market Report Segmentation

This report forecasts revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2018 to 2030. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global returnable packaging market report based on material, product, end-use, and region:

Global Returnable Packaging Market Report Segmentation

  • Material Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)

    • Plastic

    • Metal

    • Wood

  • Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)

    • Pallets

    • Crates

    • IBCs

    • Drums & Barrels

    • Dunnage

    • Others

  • End-use Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)

    • Food & Beverage

    • Automotive

    • Consumer Durables

    • Healthcare

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2018 - 2030)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • France

      • U.K.

      • Italy

      • Spain

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

      • South Korea

      • Australia

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

    • Middle East & Africa

      • South Africa

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