World demand for corrugated boxes is forecast to increase 3.4 percent per year to 213 billion square meters in 2013, in line with real (inflation-adjusted) gains in GDP.
The corrugated box market is a $32.3 billion business in the United States (as of January 2011). More than 95 percent of the products shipped in the U.S. are placed in corrugated boxes, according to TAPPI (formerly the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry), a technical association for the worldwide pulp, paper and converting industry. More than half the paper recycled in the U.S. is corrugated paperboard.
The global flexo printing and converting market is projected to reach $136 billion for the full year 2011, projected to grow steadily over the next five years at an growth rate of 3.8% in current terms and by 2.1% growth per annum in real terms.
Factors contributing to rising box demand will include growth in industrial activities, particularly the manufacturing sector, which often requires corrugated packaging to protect and transport goods. In addition, ongoing developments in small flute and high-quality graphic board will allow corrugated boxes to penetrate traditional folding carton applications, especially in the developed world. Greater interest in corrugated packaging as a point-of-sale display in retail applications will also boost demand for value-added corrugated boxes.