Containerboard Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The Containerboard Market is Segmented by Material (Virgin Fibers, Recycled Fibers, and Virgin + Recycled Fibers), Type (Kraftliners, Testliners, and Flutings), End-user Vertical (Food and Beverage, Consumer Goods, and Industrial), and Geography (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and Middle-East and Africa).

Market Snapshot

Containerboard Market Overview
Study Period: 2018 - 2026
Base Year: 2021
Fastest Growing Market: North America
Largest Market: North America
CAGR: 4.5 %
Containerboard Market Key Players

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Market Overview

The containerboard market was valued at USD 167.2 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 239.6 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 4.5% over the forecast period (2021 - 2026). Containerboard is gaining popularity in the global packaging industry. It is the most frequently used packaging material due to its versatility, lightweight, and durability. Moreover, it is made from a renewable resource. It is also the single most-recycled packaging material. The global containerboard market is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period, mainly due to increasing corrugated box shipments and e-commerce shipments, increasing demand for packaged food and companies, and the consumers shifting toward recyclable packaging solutions.

  • The United States is one of the major players in the market studied. The increasing manufacturing and demand for containerboard in the country are further developing the market studied. It is expected that the US box shipments would increase by an average of 2.7% annually, between 2018 and 2020.
  • According to Berg Mill Supply, a US-based recycled material supplier, the containerboard capacity in the United States is estimated to account for a total of 11.6%, i.e., 4.45 million metric ton by 2021. For instance, in 2017, about 66% of the distribution of containerboard production in North America was of virgin + recycled fibers.
  • Availability of alternative packaging solutions is one of the significant factors expected to restrain the growth of the market studied. However, increasing environmental concerns and governments pushing the packaging firms toward adopting recyclable materials for packaging offer a massive opportunity for the market studied over the forecast period.

Scope of the Report

Containerboard is the material used to manufacture corrugated boxes – usually known as cardboard. It is the most repeatedly used packaging material since it is versatile, lightweight, strong, and made from renewable resources. It is also the only most-recycled packaging material. For example, in 2017, 88.8% of corrugated containers were recovered for reuse.

By Material
Virgin Fibers
Recycled Fibers
Virgin + Recycled Fibers
By Type
Other Types (White Top, etc.)
By End User
Food and Beverage
Consumer Goods
Other End Users
By Geography
North America
Asia Pacific
South America
Middle-East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

The Demand for Ready-to-Eat and Packaged Foods is on the Rise

  • The demand for ready-to-eat and packaged foods is on the rise, due to the busy lifestyles of people. Hence, processed food, which has a faster cooking time, attracts many consumers. The increasing young population, especially working women, also drives the demand for packaged food, hence, driving the market studied. Each year, Brazilian consumers eat or drink out-of-home (OOH) an average of 68 times. In 2017, the OOH market in Brazil accounted for USD 11 billion, in which the purchase of food and beverage represented almost 50%.
  • According to Napco National, a Saudi Arabian packaging firm, the rise of ready-to-eat (RTE) and grab-and-go meals are shaping the future of Saudi Arabia’s food and beverage packaging trends. As corrugated board packaging keeps moisture away from food products and can withstand long shipping times, it is increasingly being adopted by food and beverage companies to offer better outcomes to customers.
  • The growth of the beverage industry is expected to be driven by the high consumption of milk and UHT milk, and dairy and RTD beverages that are increasingly adopting paper packaging, fueled by favorable consumption trends in ready-to-drink premium wellness beverages and product differentiation advantages. In the United Arab Emirates, the Emirates Business Group-owned Ipack is the first of a kind factory in the country and one of the very few in the GCC to produce paperboard packaging for aseptic filling use.
Containerboard Market Key Trends

North America is One of the Most Prominent Markets in the Global Containerboard Market

  • The United States is one of the major global exporters of containerboard, especially corrugated containers and kraftliners. The material and manufacturing costs in the country are cheaper, as compared to that in the other regions. The country’s concern for sustainable development is also a factor for high containerboard manufacturing. The increasing awareness and initiatives regarding the recycling process are also motivating the vendors to increase their investments in the market studied. The country has 20% more trees than it had in 1970.
  • According to the American Forest & Paper Association, 88.8% of corrugated containers were recovered for recycling in 2017 in the country. More than half of the recovered fibers used in manufacturing paperboard and paper go into making containerboard. The region’s sales volumes in industrial packaging are also continuously increasing over the past few years, reflecting higher box shipments and higher shipments of containerboard to the export markets.
  • The increasing number of shipments in the e-commerce industry in the region is also a significant factor for the increasing demand for containerboard. According to the US Department of Commerce, the online retailers in the United States generated USD 121.460 billion on the web in Q3 2018, a 14.3% increase, as compared to that in the same period last year. Additionally, the retail value sales of packaged foods are expected to increase by 4% in the United States Y-o-Y, between 2018 and 2020, due to the increasing awareness, availability, and affordability.
  • According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), diversifying consumer demands and emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region offer massive opportunities for US dairy exports in markets abroad. International Paper, a major manufacturer of containerboard in the United States, sold around 13,844 thousand of short ton of containerboard in 2017. Additionally, about 80% of its production is converted domestically into corrugated boxes and another packaging at its 178 container plants across North America.
Containerboard Market Growth Rate

Competitive Landscape

The containerboard market is moderately competitive and consists of many major players. In terms of market share, few of the major players currently dominate the market. These major players with a prominent share in the market are focusing on expanding their customer base across foreign countries. These companies are leveraging on strategic collaborative initiatives to increase their market share and increase their profitability.

  • January 2018 - Mondi Group acquired Powerflute for EUR 365 million. The agreement to acquire Powerflute operated an integrated pulp and paper mill in Kuopio, Finland, and was initially signed in December 2017. Mondi is expected to include the acquired business in its packaging paper business unit.
  • June 2018 - International Paper and World Wildlife Fund collaborated to develop science-based targets for forests and advance forest restoration in Brazil.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Deliverables

    2. 1.2 Study Assumptions

    3. 1.3 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Introduction to Market Drivers and Restraints

    3. 4.3 Market Drivers

      1. 4.3.1 Increasing Shipments through E-commerce

      2. 4.3.2 Increasing Demand for Processed and Packaged Foods

      3. 4.3.3 Environmental Concerns Leading to the High Demand for Recycled Packaging Solutions

    4. 4.4 Market Restraints

      1. 4.4.1 Availability of Alternative Packaging Solutions

    5. 4.5 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.5.1 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      2. 4.5.2 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      3. 4.5.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.5.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.5.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 By Material

      1. 5.1.1 Virgin Fibers

      2. 5.1.2 Recycled Fibers

      3. 5.1.3 Virgin + Recycled Fibers

    2. 5.2 By Type

      1. 5.2.1 Kraftliners

      2. 5.2.2 Testliners

      3. 5.2.3 Flutings

      4. 5.2.4 Other Types (White Top, etc.)

    3. 5.3 By End User

      1. 5.3.1 Food and Beverage

      2. 5.3.2 Consumer Goods

      3. 5.3.3 Industrial

      4. 5.3.4 Other End Users

    4. 5.4 By Geography

      1. 5.4.1 North America

      2. 5.4.2 Europe

      3. 5.4.3 Asia Pacific

      4. 5.4.4 South America

      5. 5.4.5 Middle-East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Company Profiles

      1. 6.1.1 International Paper

      2. 6.1.2 Oji Fibre Solutions (NZ) Ltd

      3. 6.1.3 Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Limited

      4. 6.1.4 Smurfit Kappa Group

      5. 6.1.5 Mondi Limited

      6. 6.1.6 Sappi Ltd

      7. 6.1.7 WestRock Company

      8. 6.1.8 Cascades Inc.

      9. 6.1.9 Stora Enso Oyj

      10. 6.1.10 Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget SCA

      11. 6.1.11 Mitsubishi Corporation Packaging Ltd

      12. 6.1.12 Georgia-Pacific LLC

    2. *List Not Exhaustive


**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Containerboard Market market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The Containerboard Market is growing at a CAGR of 4.5% over the next 5 years.

North America is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

North America holds highest share in 2020.

International Paper, Oji Fibre Solutions (NZ) Ltd, Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Limited, Smurfit Kappa Group, Mondi Limited are the major companies operating in Containerboard Market.

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