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The global cold chain packaging market size was valued at USD 20.89 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow from USD 22.97 billion in 2022 to USD 47.46 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 10.9% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with cold chain packaging experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 3.0% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
The type of packaging used to maintain sensitive products at suitable temperatures is termed cold chain packaging. The rising trade of temperature-sensitive products, including food and pharmaceuticals, is pushing demand for cold packaging products for temperature monitoring. In cold chain logistics, temperature monitoring is an essential process to keep product quality intact. Thus, leading manufacturers associated with cold chain logistics providers are focusing on developing new products that can efficiently tackle the technical problems in cold chain transport. Advanced packaging possesses great potential to minimize miscellaneous losses. Further, it leads to the development of reliable supply chains and helps gain more profit margins.
To garner market presence, key players strategically introduce new products in the global market. For instance, in September 2021, Lifoam Industries LLC launched a new Bioflex technology-based insulated shipper. This product is designed with recyclable materials, which further offers a unique combination of performance & sustainability and helps reduce environmental impacts.
Trade Restrictions Slightly Impeded Market Growth during the Pandemic
During the COVID-19 outbreak, all regional governments considered the pharma & food sectors under essential services. The role of the cold supply chain became more important during such a period to assure the safety & integrity of temperature-sensitive products. Trade restrictions declined the demand for perishable food products & specialty industrial materials that led to a negative impact on the market's growth.
However, cold chain packaging associations are undertaking all the essential precautions to combat the situation incurred by the outbreak. For instance, the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) implemented precautionary measures to cope with the impact. The GCCA is continuously updating guidelines and routes frequently as per the instructions from the regional government.
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Increasing Focus on Sustainable Packaging to Open New Growth Avenues
The use of reusable cold chain parcel and pallet delivery bins has been a regular uptick in recent years, helping pharmaceutical manufacturers transport excessive high-value products to large markets across several parts of the globe. As per Pelican’s 2020 Biopharma Cold Chain Logistics Sustainability Survey, in 2019, 38% of biopharma companies used reusable rental containers and 25% explored them. Furthermore, it also states that the availability of rental programs and the global growth of network stations to refurbish and recondition reusable shipping containers have also improved access to this flexible and often cost-saving alternative.
Stronger Demand from Pharmaceutical Industry to Aid Market Growth
The pharmaceutical industry significantly influences the cold chain packaging market growth due to increasing transportation of temperature-sensitive products. Pharmaceuticals packaging includes containers, pallet shippers, vacuum insulated panels, crates, boxes used for vaccines, infusions/injections, biologics, hormones, insulin, antibiotics, cellular therapies, reagents, treatments for chronic or rare diseases, and others. These products may lose their properties when exposed to relatively high temperatures. Thus, specialized thermal packaging & transportation systems are necessary to keep product quality intact.
As per Pharmaceutical Commerce Analysis of IQVIA, 2018, cold chain (including products and transportation) accounts for around 18% of the total pharma spend. Also, the growth of cold chain solutions is rising 2x compared to non-cold chain solutions in the pharmaceutical industry. Moreover, increasing overseas trade of pharmaceutical products is pushing the demand for cold chain packaging to transport the products safely at long distances. Emerging economies in Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Africa are heavily investing in the pharmaceutical industry & infrastructure development, which is further projected to fuel demand. Owing to multiple advantages, the adoption rate of cold packaging is higher in the pharmaceutical industry than other applications. Thus, stronger demand from the pharmaceutical industry is driving the market growth.
High Cost & Complex Regulations to Confine Market Growth
Cold chain packaging is costly as compared to non-cold packaging products. Cold chain products are specially tailored to regulate the temperature and maintain the best product of the quality. Technically skilled manpower and advanced raw materials are required to meet specific designing & regulations. However, these resources increase costs, thereby increasing capital investment & packaging costs.
As supply chains are becoming more complex, the possibility of regulatory issues is also increasing. To mitigate these risks, the companies need to adopt changing regulations in their day-to-day operations and select appropriate materials to lessen the environmental impact. Manufacturers need to be flexible with changing regulations across the regions to avoid penalties against rule violations. Small & medium scaled manufacturers often struggle to cope with strict packaging regulations. To meet the predefined packaging criteria, they need to invest significantly at all levels, which further affects their profit margin & limits the business growth. Thus, high manufacturing costs & complex regulations limit market growth.
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Pallet Shippers to Dominate the Global Market Owing to Larger Capacity
Based on product type, the global market is segmented into EPS containers, PUR containers, pallet shippers, vacuum insulated panels, and others. The pallet shippers segment would lead the market by accounting for more than 36% of the market share. These products are used for seasonal and universal temperature protection coverage, thereby giving them an advantage over the other cold packaging solutions. These are generally large-capacity shipping systems that are both effective and reusable. Besides, they are compact and light, which further reduces transport costs. Due to their exceptional occupancy capacity ratio and low volumetric weight, these containers are prominently used for frozen, refrigerated, or controlled room temperature shipments, transporting farm produce, processed agricultural products, pharmaceutical drugs, and many others.
EPS containers offer cost-effective insulation for temperature-controlled shipping. These shipping containers provide optimal performance & uniform temperature control for the shipment of temperature-sensitive products. PUR containers provide superior maintenance of internal payload temperatures even under extreme weather conditions. They are prominently used for international shipments. Vacuum insulated panels have the characteristics of super-insulation, which allows them for longer storage time and safer transportation conditions. It has low thermal conductivity, thereby ensuring thermal protection for controlled refrigerated storage of high-value products in temperature-controlled containers
Food Segment to Dominate Owing to Increasing Product Applications
Based on application, the global market is categorized as pharmaceuticals, food, and industrial. In 2021, the food segment held the largest share in the global market. Frozen food items, vegetables, fruits, fruit pulp, juices, beverages, dairy products, seafood, confectionery, and other agricultural produce are transported using temperature-controlled packaging solutions. Owing to the increasing domestic and international trade of food products, the food segment is projected to dominate the market over the forecast period.
The pharmaceuticals segment is the fastest growing globally due to increasing trade of medicines, vaccines, and other medical drugs. The global pharmaceutical industry is investing heavily in cold pharmaceutical packaging solutions. According to the Pharmaceutical Commerce’s annual Biopharma Cold Chain Sourcebook, it is estimated that biopharma companies spent around USD 15 billion in cold chain logistics in 2019. This spending is gradually increasing every year at a healthy rate.
Europe Cold Chain Packaging Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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The European market is dominated by Western European countries such as Germany, France, the U.K., Italy, and Spain. The market size of Europe was USD 6.34 billion in 2020 and USD 6.94 billion in 2021, respectively. The temperature profile changes drastically from country to country in Europe. Thus, advanced temperature monitoring and packaging solutions are employed to transport temperature-sensitive products. The Central and Eastern European countries are expected to provide multiple growth opportunities compared to Western countries, due to the development and expansion of economies. Germany imports large quantities of fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and milk products in chilled and frozen forms. The packaged food industry is thriving in the country due to high health awareness and increasing nutritional intake by consumers. Moreover, Germany is regarded as the leader in the food and beverage market in Europe, which strongly supports the growth of the cold packaging business in the region.
Asia Pacific is the fastest growing market globally, and it is expected to dominate the market by the end of the forecast period. The adoption of cold packaging solutions in the region is increasing at a healthy rate, owing to the rapid development of cold storage projects, rising disposable incomes, and expanding population. China, Japan, and South Korea account for the largest share in the region as these countries have well-established supply chains and renowned companies that provide a wide range of cold packaging products.
North America is one of the largest producers of these solutions globally. The region held the second-largest share in the global market in 2020. The U.S. dominates the regional market due to its technological advancement and well-established supply chains. The country’s large area and uneven population distribution make the usage of cold packaging even more profound in transporting food products and pharmaceutical drugs to remote locations.
Attributed to strong FDI investment, the cold chain packaging market outlook in Latin America is expected to be strong in the near future. Brazil is the key contributor to the regional market growth. In the Middle East, the GCC countries account for the major share in the market due to their infrastructure and high-income generating businesses. Due to the regional temperature profiles, the food industry's demand for cold storage packaging is high. It is used to insulate frozen vegetables, fruits, and other agricultural produce.
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In Africa, leading cold chain packaging associations, such as the Global Cold Chain Alliance, work with local manufacturers to develop and strengthen cold chain logistics. In August 2020, the Global Cold Chain Alliance’s South Africa regional office successfully hosted a Virtual Cold Store Operations Short Course with students participating from South Africa, Ghana, Namibia, Kenya, and Nigeria. Such initiatives are projected to create potential demand in developing countries of Africa during the forecast period.
Leading Players Launch New Products to Meet Growing Consumer Demand
The market is fragmented, with many global and local players. Therefore, due to the increasing competition from local players, the leading global players are focusing on developing new products and broadening their consumer base across the world. For instance, CSafe Global (Softbox Systems), one of the leading manufacturers of cold chain packaging solutions, such as containers and boxes, is developing new healthcare packaging products, which can be reused to reduce carbon footprints. The company is perpetually working to introduce new recyclable packaging products in the market.
An Infographic Representation of Cold Chain Packaging Market
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The global cold chain packaging market report offers both qualitative and quantitative insights into the global market. Quantitative insights include the global market analysis in terms of value (USD Billion) across each sector, sub-sector, and geographic region considered in the study. Also, it covers company share analysis and growth rates for major segments and sub-segments at key country levels. The qualitative insight covers market drivers, restraints, growth opportunities, and key trends impacting the market. The competitive landscape section covers detailed company profiling of key players operating in the global market.
Value (USD Billion)
By Product Type, Application, and Geography
By Product Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 20.89 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 47.46 billion by 2029.
The global market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.9% during the forecast period.
Based on application, the food segment held the highest share in the market.
Stronger demand from pharmaceuticals and food industries is the key factor driving the market.
Cold Chain Technologies, Peli BioThermal, Sonoco Thermosafe, and SoftBox Systems are the key players in the global market.
Europe dominated the global market in terms of share in 2021.
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