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Rigid bulk packaging sales in the US are projected to increase five percent per annum to $5.7 billion in 2003.

Rigid bulk packaging sales in the US are projected to increase five percent per annum to $5.7 billion in 2003. Gains will be stimulated by needs for more cost effective packaging methods, with further growth threatened by competition from flexible packaging alternatives. Overall growth will reflect the expanding production of goods, especially nondurables, as well as healthy export markets. Shipping drums will remain the packaging workhorse, although best growth is expected for rigid intermediate bulk containers (RIBCs) based on economic, performance and environmental factors. While use of steel and paperboard materials will increase marginally, plastics use will grow four percent annually, resulting in a 2.2 billion pound market by 2003. These and other trends are presented in Rigid Bulk Packaging, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industrial market research firm.

Shipping drum sales are forecast to increase 3.2 percent per annum through 2003 to $1.5 billion. Plastic drums will expand at the fastest pace based on their light weight, one-piece construction and impact and corrosion resistance. Threats to further growth include incompatibility with concentrated chemical solvents and the inability to store many flammable materials. Steel drum sales will increase at a slow pace yet remain a mainstay due to strength and fire resistance and the presence of a strong national network of steel drum reconditioners.

Rigid intermediate bulk containers will provide the best opportunities and expand at a double-digit pace to $1.1 billion in 2003. Despite their high cost compared to drums, RIBCs greatly simplify handling, take up less space, cost less in the long run, and often can be integrated directly onto the processing line. RIBCs also have a longer service life than drums and offer environmental advantages. Sales of materials handling containers will benefit from their ability to reduce packaging waste and improve production efficiency.

Chemicals and allied products will remain the leading rigid bulk packaging market, reflecting increased levels of chemical production, as well as a growing preference for higher value RIBCs. Hazardous waste applications will advance at a faster pace, largely as a result of the more stringent regulations governing the handling, transport and disposal of waste products. The durable goods sector will also enjoy relatively fast growth, as this is the one sector where significant initial penetration of markets is still possible.

Rigid Bulk Packaging (published 8/99, 204 pages) is available for $3400 from The Freedonia Group, Inc., 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143-2326. For further details, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440.684.9600, fax 646.0484 or e-mail Full text is also available online through commercial database companies and the Web site.

Please attribute information from this news release to The Freedonia Group (Cleveland, OH) and include, if possible, the price of the report. We would also appreciate a copy of the article or publication in which we appear.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Subscription: $00.00 per year as of 1/94. Published irregularly. Contact Freedonia Group, 3570 Warrensville Cente
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Comment:Rigid bulk packaging sales in the US are projected to increase five percent per annum to $5.7 billion in 2003.
Publication:Research Studies - Freedonia Group
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 1999
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