5 Trends Changing the Future of Corrugated Packaging

corrugated packaging

The global market of corrugated packaging is growing and evolving. With the explosion of e-commerce and the recent pandemic, developments in digital technology have also affected the packaging industry a lot.

According to Smither’s report on The Future of Corrugated Packaging to 2023, the market is growing at the rate of 3.7% annually. It is estimated to reach $300 billion by 2023.

Expansion of the e-commerce market

As the retail and e-commerce sector is skyrocketing with 20% annual growth solely in Europe, the packing industry is also expanding.

With more businesses going global, so is the demand for corrugated paper rolls, corrugated cardboard rolls, postal boxes, and other packaging materials. It has been reported that the corrugated industry represents 80% of demand in the e-commerce sector.

Corrugated Cardboard Paper Roll 300mm x 75M

The supply management chain has become more complex due to international deliveries. Moreover, customers expect to have the delivery within 4 to 5 days which makes handling 20 times more products during a standard distribution.

Demands are increasing for high-quality graphic designs on shipping companies as well.

Advancements in digital printing

The digital printing market is evolving exponentially. The high demand for personalisation of brands, regionalised packaging, stores, and high-quality graphics have created a storm for growth and opportunities.

Appetite for adopting new methods and integrating latest technology of printers, liners are growing.

After all, packaging for online stores is the first physical interaction that happens with a customer.

So, industry players are trying to use packaging as an essential element in creating a memorable shopping experience that users can share via social media. This, in turn, drives more brand awareness, engagement, and promotion to attract newer customers.

Importance of sustainability

The world has felt the environmental effects of packaging wastes for years. But people, now, are getting more conscious of their choices.

Corrugated packing supplies like envelopes, house moving boxes, paper rolls are one of the most sustainable packing options. It is easy to recycle and convert into newer container boards.


There has been a steady rise in the popularity of corrugated packaging over polymer-based alternatives like expanded polystyrene foams (EPS).

There is also the desire to minimise the weight of the packaging. Especially in Western Europe, light packing has been particularly successful. Thanks to recycling, cardboard containers are now 80% lighter than US weights. Lightweight containers not only benefit retailers to save shipping costs but are more appealing to customers.

Changes in retail

As mentioned before, retail-ready packaging has been a significant cost-saver for businesses in Western Europe. It is estimated that secondary packaging formats can reduce shelf restocking up to 50%. This is an added facility for brands that gives them more control over the brand’s product presentation.

Corrugated boxes are still in demand to ship to a retail warehouse, but they don’t require to be retail-ready. The expansion of e-commerce into grocery items has also impacted packaging.

There is an emergence of subscription-based products that directly deliver food items on a weekly or monthly basis. This is providing newer opportunities for packaging suppliers with delivery-friendly formats.

Fit-to-product packaging formats

For e-commerce sellers like Amazon, Staples, or eBay, who sell a massive range of products by the needs, fit-to-product (FtP) packaging is needed. This enables companies with a variety of products to order customised packaging systems based on the exact dimension of the items.

For shipping companies, this eliminates the need for standard products that often require filler materials. As the box-on-demand system is rising, so is the demand for finishing equipment like printers.

Steps are being taken to capitalise on this growth, with some companies driving 70% sales from FtP packaging in the US and Canada.

Factors affecting the global packaging market

  • Boosted by the rise in the global economy, businesses, despite the pandemic, are booming.
  • Consumers are purchasing more and more things online that drive specific packaging requirements.
  • Portable, lightweight products are driving various packaging needs.
  • Technological advancement is an undeniable factor.

The future trends of packaging will shape the industry in a new light. And with the change in the market, Wellpack Europe is enhancing its game to keep up with the trends. From standard corrugated boxes to customised corrugated cardboard rolls, get everything at a competitive price from them.


IITSWEB is the Chief Business Development Officer at IITSWEB, a Magento design and development company headquartered in Redwood City, California. He is a Member of the Magento Association and an Adobe Sales Accredited Magento Commerce professional. Jan is responsible for developing and leading the sales and digital marketing strategies of the company. He is passionate about ecommerce and Magento in particular — throughout the years his articles have been featured on Retail Dive, Hacker Noon, Chief Marketer, Mobile Marketer, TMCnet, and many others.

View all posts by IITSWEB →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *