With the constant rise in population, the global retail e-commerce packaging market would grow at a massive 12.1% CAGR between 2020 and 2030. At this rate, the industry size is expected to increase from $19,022.7 million in 2019 to over $68,388.1 million by 2030. The United Nations (UN), in the 2019 edition of its World Population Prospects report, says that from 7.7 billion in 2019, the number of people on this planet will rise to 10.9 billion by 2010

This factor is helping the retail e-commerce packaging market advance, as the increase in the number of people is leading to a surge in the demand for various products, thereby creating a huge demand for packaging materials. Further, with people shifting to the online mode of shopping, e-commerce websites are making brisk business, which is why their requirement for packaging materials is skyrocketing, according to the research report published by P&S Intelligence.

The COVID-19 pandemic is positively influencing the retail e-commerce packaging market, as with people being encouraged to stay home as much as possible, the online sale of stuff has risen. In addition, the prices of crude oil fell massively during this period, even touching negatives briefly. This led to a sharp reduction in the prices of petrochemicals, which are the key raw materials for packaging materials, thereby leading to massive purchases by end users.

Throughout the next decade, the boxes category, under the material type segment, will witness the highest CAGR in the retail e-commerce packaging market, as boxes are immensely popular among retailers as well as customers. Boxes protect the products from damages, to a great extent, till they reach the end-customer. If a product gets damaged before reaching the customer, the retailer or shipper might have to bear up to three times the logistical experiences in transporting it again.

The consumer electronics classification held the largest share in the retail e-commerce packaging market during 2014–2019, based on end user. This was because of the rising sale of smartphones, computers, tablets, refrigerators, TVs, air conditioners, washing machines, and other home appliances, due to the increasing disposable income of people in developing countries. Often, numerous discounts are available on these products, at online shopping portals, which is why consumers are increasingly purchasing them via the e-commerce channel. Moreover, such products are fragile and expensive, which is why sturdy packaging is required to protect them from damage.

In the past, Asia-Pacific (APAC) dominated the retail e-commerce packaging market, on account of the increasing population, which is rapidly getting access to the internet and witnessing a rise in its purchasing power. China has been the largest contributor to the worldwide industry for quite some time, as buying products online is convenient, more secure, and often costs less than purchasing them from physical stores here.

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region will experience the fastest growth in the retail e-commerce packaging market in the years to come. This is ascribed to it being largely untapped by e-commerce companies, which has led to the slow growth of logistics and packaging-material-providing companies here. But, with the government of regional nations focusing on reducing their dependence on hydrocarbons, the e-commerce sector is expected to get a strong push, thereby driving the market here.

Companies Looking at Mergers and Acquisitions as the Definitive Growth Strategy

In order to grow in the rapidly expanding retail e-commerce packaging market, companies offering packaging materials are engaging in mergers and acquisitions, to:

  • Increase their output of corrugated packaging material
  • Add automated bagging machines to their portfolio
  • Expand their geographical footprint
  • Broaden their paper and packaging solution offerings
  • Enter new markets and widen their revenue streams

The key players in the global retail e-commerce packaging market are International Paper Company, DS Smith Plc, Mondi Plc, Smurfit Kappa Group Plc, Westrock Company, Packaging Corporation of America, Sealed Air Corporation, Klabin S.A., Rengo Co. Ltd., Orora Limited, Stora Enso Oyj, Sonoco Products Company, and Georgia-Pacific LLC.

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