This study analyzes the global protective packaging industry. Products covered include foamed plastics, paperboard protectors, and protective mailers, as well as other protective packaging products such as bubble packaging, insulated shipping containers, paper fill materials, air pillows, dunnage bags, loose-fill, and molded pulp. Markets for these products include manufacturing activities, Internet and catalog sales, as well as retail and other markets. An overview is also presented for protective packaging by material (i.e., paper and paperboard, foamed plastics, plastic films, and other plastics) and function (i.e., cushioning, blocking and bracing, void-fill, wrapping, insulating). Excluded from the scope of this study are active insulated shipping containers employing electricity or other power sources to maintain a temperature-
Historical data (2001, 2006, and 2011) and forecasts to 2016 and 2021 are presented for protective packaging demand in current US dollars (including inflation) by product and market on a country-by-country and region-by-region basis. The terms “shipments,”
Data on protective packaging demand are derived from a variety of sources and are developed (at least in part) from statistical relationships. Given that variations are commonplace in international reporting, data presented in this study are historically consistent but may vary from other sources. Variances may occur because of definitional differences, undistributed exports, inventory accumulation, goods-in-transit, and various other factors. Throughout this study, demand is related to various indicators for comparative purposes and to facilitate further analysis. Tabular details may not always add to totals due to independent rounding, and calculated ratios reflect unrounded numbers.
In addition, the key strategic and competitive variables affecting the global protective packaging industry are discussed, and the industry’s key players are identified and profiled. World market share estimates are also provided for the overall industry. The entire study is framed within the context of overall economic conditions, as well as developments and technologies affecting the protective packaging industry and its end users.
Protective packaging data by company presented in the “Industry Structure” section are estimates based on consultation with multiple sources. Corporate information sources included annual reports, SEC Form 10-K filings, product catalogs, prospectuses, news releases, and interviews with responsible officers within the companies themselves. In addition, security analyst and brokerage reports were used extensively in framing the market environment and industry structure, and as input to market size assessment.
Macroeconomic and demographic indicators presented in this study were obtained from The Freedonia Group Consensus Forecasts dated June 2012. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) historical data are derived from the national income and products accounts from the Organisation for Economic Co- Operation and Development (OECD) for its member countries, from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for its member countries, and from the International Monetary Fund for its member countries
that are not part of the OECD or EBRD. Sources of GDP estimates for other countries are based on information from the World Bank and a variety of sources including the countries’ statistical bureaus. GDP forecasts are developed from a consensus of public agencies and private firms.
All estimates of gross domestic product and components of GDP are done in terms of constant purchasing power parity in a benchmark year (2010) that is one year before the base year (2011) used in this study. Purchasing power parity GDP estimates for the benchmark year are obtained from the OECD; Eurostat; the World Bank; the International Monetary Fund; the US Central Intelligence Agency; and selected other sources. These purchasing power parity GDP estimates for the benchmark year are based on gross domestic product data expressed in the individual countries’ local currency, which are then converted to US dollars by valuing each country’s output at US prices in the benchmark year. This approach values the same physical output at a consistent price for all countries, thereby reducing the distorting influence of different price levels in the different countries. The alternative approach of using exchange rates to convert local currency GDP to US dollars would tend to overvalue the output of countries with high average price levels and undervalue the output of countries with low average price levels, because exchange rate conversions only partially reflect the relative prices for goods and services that are domestically consumed and invested. Furthermore, factors other than relative prices, such as demand and supply in currency markets, interest rates, and capital flows, affect exchange rates.
Once the GDP values for a country are estimated for the benchmark year, we then calculate inflation-adjusted GDP for all other years for that country based on historical and forecast growth rates of GDP expressed in inflationadjusted units of that country’s local currency. This approach ensures that the GDP series for any given country is an accurate index of changes in inflationadjusted GDP for that country. However, it also implicitly assumes that the price structures across countries do not change from those of the benchmark year. Therefore, caution should be used in comparing the relative GDP of countries in years other than the benchmark year. If the ratio of prices across two countries in a given year differs from the ratio of prices across those countries in the benchmark year, then the change in the relative sizes of those two economies as measured will not accurately reflect changes in output.
The benchmark year is chosen to be one year prior to the base year for the study for reasons of data availability. One benefit of that choice is that the ratio of prices across countries in the base year is usually similar to that in the benchmark year. Therefore, the ratio of real GDP between two countries in the base year of 2011 is generally a reasonably accurate representation of the relative sizes of their economies.
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