Cold Chain Packaging Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The Cold Chain Packaging Market is segmented by Product (Insulated Containers, Refrigerants, Temperature Monitoring), Applications (Food, Dairy, Pharmaceutical), and Geography.

Market Snapshot

Cold Chain Packaging Market Overview
Study Period: 2018 - 2026
Base Year: 2021
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: Europe
CAGR: 10.36 %
Cold Chain Packaging Market Key Players

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Market Overview

The Cold Chain Packaging Market was valued at USD 20.08 billion in 2020, and it is projected to be worth USD 36.65 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of approximately 10.36% during the forecast period (2021-2026). Counting every nation, every segment of the society, and every link of the supply chain contribution, global food waste totals 1.3 billion metric ton annually (source: FAO). The suffering from this staggering loss was further aggravated in 2020, due to the disruption in the food model caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The relief plan developed by the US Produce Industry Group estimated the loss in a single five-day period, of 100 million restaurant meals, 30 million school lunches, and 15 million school breakfasts. The entire fresh produce industry supply chain is reeling from such a sudden and immediate shut down of an estimated 40% of all produce consumed in America. (source: Agri Pulse).
  • Considering the spike in e-commerce, insulated packaging is expected to see strong sales with smaller e-commerce and food delivery formats across meal kits and other perishable food and beverage items. As multiple packages containing fresh and frozen items require good insulation, the pandemic-led behavioral change has led to packages being left outdoors for some time. Hence, the pandemic is further expected to witness a significant increase in the demand for cold chain packaging solutions.
  • Cold chain packaging solutions are essential to the growth of the global trade in perishable products and the worldwide availability of food and health supplies. The rise in consumer demand for perishable food items, growth of international trade due to trade liberalization, and expansion of the organized food retail industry are some of the factors driving the growth of the market.
  • Increasing stringent regulations, such as the effective implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (cold storage warehouse requirement to preserve food), drive the market’s growth. Additionally, the rising demand from various industrial applications, such as the medical devices and pharmaceutical industries, are significant contributors to the global cold chain packaging market.
  • However, In recent times, instability in polystyrene prices, due to the increased gap between demand and supply, has led to a price surge, which is likely to continue during the forecast period. Moreover, the escalated cost of raw materials is boosting the overall cost of the final product.

Scope of the Report

A cold chain product is defined as any temperature-sensitive product, such as frozen foods, research samples, or pharmaceuticals. Cold chain packaging, is vital for maintaining the thermal integrity of temperature-sensitive products during transport. Cold chain packaging can use active or passive packaging methods. 

Active packaging configurations are usually leased containers that employ a power source, batteries or electricity, and a thermostat to control heating or cooling within the shipping container. 

Passive packaging configurations are manufactured containers that utilize insulated packaging such as polystyrene, polyurethane, or vacuum insulated panels and phase change materials (PCM) to maintain a desired temperature inside the shipping container.

By Product
Insulated Containers
Temperature Monitoring
By End User Applications
Other End-user Applications
North America
Asia Pacific
Rest of the World

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Key Market Trends

Growth in Pharmaceutical Sector to Augment the Cold Chain Packaging Market

  • According to Almac Pharma Services, the pipeline of biologic drugs in development are becoming more temperature-sensitive, resulting in an increase in storage of bulk drug substance at frozen temperatures (-40 to -70 °C). The company adds that labeling, packing, and distributing cell and gene therapy products often requires products to be stored and processed at ultra-low temperatures (-20 to -80 °C), with the products only being defrosted immediately prior to use.
  • In the year 2020, global biopharma sales were estimated at more than 370 billion dollars. These high-value pharmaceutical products are mostly shipped via the cold chain across the entire distribution network worldwide. Thus, growth in pharmaceuticals is anticipated to propel the cold chain packaging market.
  • Moreover, the cold chain packaging market is directly influenced by the continuous growth in demand for cold storage medicinal products used in the healthcare industry. Regionally, the cold chain packaging market is dominated by Europe and North America region. This is due to the high number of biopharmaceuticals imports & exports in the countries in Europe and North America. These regions are also the innovators for the improvement in shipping and warehousing of pharmaceutical products.
  • Further, the market is witnessing an effect due to government regulations regarding the use of materials in cold chain packaging. There is also a strong demand for more sustainable designs, including re-use programs, to reduce the carbon footprint. The interest in temperature-controlled packaging is also impacted by changing regulations and standards. For instance, ISTA’s (International Safe Transit Association) temperature profiles were altered within the past five years. Such changes are anticipated to affect the market.
Cold Chain Packaging Market Key Trends

Europe to Hold the Largest Market Share

  • Europe occupies the major share in the cold chain packaging market and is expected to grow significantly in the forecast period owing to continuous growth in demand for cold storage medicinal products used in the healthcare industry.
  • Many companies have focused their research and development activities on creating innovative cold chain packaging technologies to stay ahead of the competition. In January 2020, Sofrigam introduced its Coldway Inside Technology, integrated into its temperature-controlled packaging solutions to keep products between 0°C and +25° for up to 24 hours and showcased at Temperature Control and Logistics (TCL), one of Europe’s largest cold chain pharmaceutical logistics congresses.
  • With the increasing number of pharmaceutical and life sciences companies in France, Pelican BioThermal opened a new service center in Strasbourg, France, in October 2020. The facility was set to provide services for Pelican’s customers, supporting the refurbishment, repair, conditioning, and storage of its Crēdo Cube reusable parcel shippers and other temperature-controlled packaging solutions.
  • B Medical Systems partnered with Cold Chain Technologies to bring end-to-end thermal shipping and storage solutions, such as ultra-low freezers, laboratory/pharmacy refrigerators, laboratory freezers, and medical transport boxes to the life science sector.
Cold Chain Packaging Market Growth by Region

Competitive Landscape

The cold chain packaging market is consolidated due to a few players are having a large share in the market. Some of the major players are Cold chain Technologies, Sonoco Thermosafe, Sofrigram, Softbox Systems, Cryopak, Sealed Air Corporation, DGP Intelsius LLC., Amcor Plc, among others.

  • September 2020 - Sonoco ThermoSafe released its new Pegasus ULD bulk temperature controlled container which is one of the world’s first passive bulk temperature-controlled container for pharmaceutical use that is an FAA-approved unit load device. It allows it to speed through existing international ground handling and customs processes at the lowest possible cost.
  • June 2020 - Softbox launched ECO packaging solution Tempcell ECO, which is a new curbside-recyclable temperature control parcel shipper for the pharma cold chain industry. It is made from 100% corrugated cardboard and utilises the company's Thermaflute patent-pending plastic-free insulation technology. The product's cardboard is used to create effective insulation layers that offers thermal efficiencies similar to those of traditional expanded polystyrene shippers, whilst being easily and globally recyclable.

Recent Developments

  • March 2021 - Sonoco products company collaborated with Unilode Aviation Solutions, one of the market leader in outsourced Unit Load Device (ULD) management and repair services, for the maintenance, repair and handling of Sonoco ThermoSafe’s passive bulk temperature-controlled containers at several key locations. This cooperation will play an important role for the company in enabling the safe and efficient transport of pharmaceuticals and other temperature-sensitive products around the world.
  • April 2020 - Cryopak introduced its next entry in an expanding line of ecologically friendly shipping solutions with Solversa. Solversa is a 100% sustainable and recyclable product line made from post-consumer recycled PET or cotton fibers. It is designed to replace EPS products, foam, and other insulators. The Solversa line of products are appropriate for food and beverage delivery, pharmaceuticals, clinical studies/trials, and other industries where products require temperature control.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Industry Value Chain Analysis

    3. 4.3 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.3.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.3.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers

      3. 4.3.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.3.4 Threat of Substitutes

      5. 4.3.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

    4. 4.4 Market Drivers

      1. 4.4.1 Growth in Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Sector to Boost the Market

      2. 4.4.2 Increasing Consumer Demand for Perishable Food

    5. 4.5 Market Restraints

      1. 4.5.1 Government Regulations Regarding the Use of Materials with Low Carbon

      2. 4.5.2 Rising Cost of Raw Material

    6. 4.6 Assessment of Impact of Covid-19 on the Market


    1. 5.1 By Product

      1. 5.1.1 Insulated Containers

      2. 5.1.2 Refrigerants

      3. 5.1.3 Temperature Monitoring

    2. 5.2 By End User Applications

      1. 5.2.1 Food

      2. 5.2.2 Dairy

      3. 5.2.3 Pharmaceutical

      4. 5.2.4 Other End-user Applications

    3. 5.3 Geography

      1. 5.3.1 North America

      2. 5.3.2 Europe

      3. 5.3.3 Asia Pacific

      4. 5.3.4 Rest of the World


    1. 6.1 Company Profiles

      1. 6.1.1 Pelican BioThermal LLC

      2. 6.1.2 Sonoco Thermosafe

      3. 6.1.3 Cold Chain Technologies Inc.

      4. 6.1.4 Cryopak Industries Inc.

      5. 6.1.5 Sofrigam Company

      6. 6.1.6 Intelsius (A DGP Company)

      7. 6.1.7 Coolpac

      8. 6.1.8 Softbox Systems Ltd.

      9. 6.1.9 Clip-Lok SimPak

      10. 6.1.10

    2. *List Not Exhaustive


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Frequently Asked Questions

The Cold Chain Packaging Market market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The Cold Chain Packaging Market is growing at a CAGR of 10.36% over the next 5 years.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

Europe holds highest share in 2020.

Cold chain Technologies, Cryopak, Sonoco Thermosafe, Sofrigam Company, Softbox Systems Ltd are the major companies operating in Cold Chain Packaging Market.

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