Bulk packaging drum growth expected for global transportation

New Freedonia study predicts sustained growth in the output of chemical products—particularly in fast-growing markets such as China, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam—will boost demand for drums.

New Freedonia study predicts sustained growth in the output of chemical products—particularly in fast-growing markets such as China, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam—will boost demand for drums.
New Freedonia study predicts sustained growth in the output of chemical products—particularly in fast-growing markets such as China, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam—will boost demand for drums.

Chemicals and pharmaceuticals will remain both the largest and the fastest-growing global bulk packaging market, at 30%, followed by food and beverage at 25%, other nondurables at 22%, and durables at 18%. Another trend in this market is the growing presence of larger reusable containers, such as FIBCs and RIBCs.

Despite a generally favorable outlook as the global economy continues to expand, prospects for drums will be tempered by competition from larger-capacity IBCs, with fiber drums in particular expected to lose share both to other drum types and to alternative packaging formats. Still, drums will remain widely used due to their relatively low cost, reusability, and reputation for safety in the transport of hazardous materials.

Steel drums will continue to account for the largest share of the global drum market. However, plastic drums will experience the fastest growth through 2021.

Overall, global demand for bulk packaging drums is projected to increase 4.6% annually to $11.0 billion in 2021, according to Global Bulk Packaging, 3rd Edition, a new study from The Freedonia Group.

Interest in reusable drums

The Cleveland-based market research firm says greater interest in reusable packaging will continue to benefit steel and plastic drums – and, in some cases, fiber drums – with many firms emphasizing drum reconditioning, fleet management, and other services to increase their competitiveness with larger-capacity, reusable RIBCs.

Global demand for all types of bulk packaging is projected to increase 4.1% per year to $65.5 billion in 2021, Freedonia notes, with faster advances than in the previous 10 years, despite decelerating growth in the Asia/Pacific region. Gains in the Asia/Pacific region will still be above the global pace, despite a slowdown in the large Chinese market.

The 286-page Global Bulk Packaging, 3rd Edition is available for $6,300 from The Freedonia Group. For further details or to arrange an interview with the analyst, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440/684-9600 or email pr@freedoniagroup.com.

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