What Does the Future Hold for Cardboard?

We can all agree that the economy has not been exactly ideal over the past few years. Many companies have had to close their doors and stop operating due to lower demands and profit margins. Industries from retail to food to transportation have all taken a hit, but circumstances for the future are finally looking up. The transportation industry shows a promising comeback for shipping supplies. Since many consumers are beginning to purchase more and more items online, the US box demand is estimated to hit $36 billion by 2016 (a 2.6% annual increase). Whether shipments are coming from Tokyo or Miami, the products are placed in corrugated boxes, taped and secured, and slapped with labels to be sent on their way.

corrugated boxes miami
Fanfold cardboard

In four years corrugated boxes and solid fiber boxes will post the fastest gain. This is because the corrugated box is the shipping container of choice for a broad array of durable and nondurable goods due to its strength and reliability. As far as markets are concerned, great opportunities lie in the chemical/pharmaceutical and food (carry-out) markets. Food is actually the fastest growing market and was responsible for 50% of the total corrugated box demand in 2011. Another promising factor is the rebound in construction expenditures. Increased appliance purchases for construction will help propel healthy gains for corrugated boxes. Boxes and folding cartons sporting high-quality graphics and printing will also generate great demand, as will retail- or shelf-ready containers, which are also expected to gain ground.

Another material benefiting from this economic comeback is fanfold cardboard. Demand for folding paperboard boxes is expected to increase 1.7% yearly to $9.8 billion in 2016, trailing the corrugated box pace as a result of strong competition from flexible packaging and mini-flute materials. These folding boxes are less expensive than custom size boxes – all you need to do is cut to the desired length and wrap the material around large items.

With time, the US economy will thrive and industry demand struggles will be a thing of the past. Now do your part and start that online ordering!