Demand for insulated shipping containers is projected to increase 4.7% annually to $1.0 billion in 2021. Gains will be fueled by the rising online sales of meal kits and other perishable food and beverage products. Growth for insulated shipping containers in the pharmaceuticals market will be more modest, as this is a more established application. However, more exacting expectations for the handling of temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals will provide growth opportunities. These and other trends are presented in “Protective Packaging Market in the U.S, 9th Edition,” a new study from The Freedonia Group (freedoniagroup.com), a Cleveland-based industry research firm.
Increased focus on compliance with storage temperature regulations will drive insulated shipping container demand in pharmaceutical and medical applications, which will remain the largest outlet for these containers. Some high-value specialty drugs and vaccines are temperature sensitive, and thermal control throughout the supply chain is critical to their safety and efficacy. As a result, insulated shipping containers will continue to play a major role in reducing losses.
The growing market for home-delivered meals, recipe kits, and groceries will also contribute to demand for insulated containers because many of these products have fresh and frozen goods that must be insulated during the shipping process. Additionally, these items might be left outdoors during the day until the intended recipient comes home.
Insulated shipping containers are just one type of protective packaging. US.. demand for all products (flexible, foam and rigid) is projected to increase 4.9% per year to $7.8 billion in 2021. Ongoing growth in retail e-commerce will be the primary driver of gains, but manufacturing applications will also continue to offer growth opportunities. The ongoing expansion of product and service offerings from online retailers coupled with the extension of e-commerce footprints by traditional retailers will create a proliferation of shipments in need of cushioning or other protective functions.