RIBCs Lead Growing Demand for Rigid Bulk Packaging

CLEVELAND—U.S. demand for rigid bulk packaging is projected to increase 2.1% per year to $7 billion in 2013, according to a new market research report.

Rigid intermediate bulk containers (RIBCs) will lead the charge, with demand increasing 4.2% annually through 2013 as a result of cost and performance advantages over smaller, single-use or shorter life packaging, according to “Rigid Bulk Packaging to 2013,” a new report from the Freedonia Group.

Material handling containers will also see above-average growth, according to the report, thanks to the increased use of returnable and reusable containers in the production of durable and other goods to boost manufacturing efficiency and achieve cost savings. Gains will also be supported by a continuing shift to reusable bulk containers in food and agricultural applications.

Although drum demand will advance less than 1% per year through 2013, drums will remain a leading rigid bulk packaging product type based on their relatively low cost, reusability and amenability to shipping hazardous materials, the report states. Demand for pails will expand in line with the rigid bulk packaging average, with plastic types continuing to dominate based on their light weight, low cost and corrosion and impact resistance.

Through 2013, virtually all material consumption growth will be concentrated in plastic as a result of good prospects for all plastic rigid bulk packaging product segments, particularly heavier containers like RIBCs and material handling crates, according to the report. Steel consumption will decline, while paperboard use will increase marginally.

The report can be purchased by clicking here.

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