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Cold Chain Packaging Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Product Type (EPS Containers, PUR Containers, Pallet Shippers, Vacuum Insulated Panels and Others), By Application (Pharmaceuticals, Food, and Industrial), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102829



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The global cold chain packaging market size was USD 19.36 billion in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with the product witnessing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 8% in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 21.19 billion in 2021 to USD 43.40 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 10.8% during the 2021-2028 period. The sudden rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.

Temperature monitoring is an essential process in cold chain logistics to keep product quality intact. Leading manufacturers in association with cold chain logistic providers focus on developing new products that can efficiently tackle the technical problems that often arise during cold chain transport. Advanced cold chain packaging possesses great potential to minimize miscellaneous losses. Further, it leads to the development of reliable supply chains and helps in gaining more profit margins.

To garner market presence, key players are strategically introducing new products in the global market. For instance, in January 2019, Softbox, a manufacturer of temperature control packaging for the life science and logistics industries, launched its new pallet and parcel shipping systems named Tempcell ECO, Tempcell MAX, and Silverpod MAX. Tempcell ECO is manufactured by recyclable corrugated paper and can control different temperatures from 0-30 degrees Celsius. Silverpod Max is a high-performance system made of phase change materials and can maintain up to 96 hours of thermal protection.

COVID-19 Impact

Trade Restriction Slightly Impeded Market Growth in 2020   

During the COVID-19 outbreak, pharma & food industries were put under essential services by all regional governments. The role of the cold supply chain became more important during such a pandemic to assure the safety & integrity of temperature-sensitive products. Trade restriction and declined demand for perishable food products & specialty industrial materials led to a negative impact on the market's growth. For instance, as per the United States Department of Agriculture GAIN report, in 2020, leading milk producers in Europe, Germany, France, Denmark, and the Netherlands experienced a negative impact on milk production and milk consumption.

As milk is one of the key applications of cold chain logistics, the declining consumption trend impacted the demand for packaging products in Europe. However, cold chain associations are undertaking all the essential precautions to combat the situation incurred by the outbreak. For instance, the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) implemented preventive measures at all levels to cope up 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 Cold Chain 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 Boost Market Growth

Cold chain packaging is significantly used in the pharmaceutical industry for all temperature-sensitive products. Pharmaceuticals packaging solutions include 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 and 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, the increasing overseas trade of pharmaceutical products pushes demand for packaging solutions to transport the products safely at long distances.

Emerging economies in Asia Pacific, Latin America & Africa are heavily investing in the pharmaceutical industry & infrastructure development, which are further projected to fuel demand for such packaging. Owing to multiple advantages, the adoption rate is higher in the pharmaceutical industry than in other applications. Thus, stronger demand from the pharmaceutical industry is expected to drive the global cold chain packaging market growth during the forecast period.


High Cost & Complex Regulations to Confine Market Growth

Cold chain packaging products are relatively costly as compared to packaging products. The products are specially tailored to regulate the temperature and to keep the product of the best quality. To meet specific designing & regulations, a technically skilled workforce & advanced raw material is required. This all comes with high cost, which results in higher capital investment & increased packaging cost.

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. 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 are restraining the growth of the market.


By Product Type Analysis

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Pallet Shipper Segment to Hold the Largest Share of the Global Market

Based on product type, the global cold chain packaging 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 containers are used for seasonal and universal temperature protection coverage, thereby giving it 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, and thus its usage in temperature-controlled containers ensures exceptional thermal protection for any controlled refrigerated storage of high-value products.

By Application Analysis

Food Segment to Dominate the Market Over the Forecast Period

Based on application, the market is categorized as pharmaceuticals, food, and industrial.

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 cold chain packaging solutions. Owing to the increasing domestic and international trade of food products, the food segment is projected to dominate during the forecast period.

The pharmaceutical segment is the fastest growing globally due to the 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, 2020 (USD Billion)

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The market of cold chain Packaging in Europe is dominated by Western European countries such as Germany, France, the U.K., Italy, and Spain. The market size of Europe in terms of revenue in 2020 was USD 6.40 billion. 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.

North America is one of the largest producers of these solutions in the world. The region held the second-largest share in the global market in 2020. The United States dominates the regional market on account of 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.

Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing market globally and is expected to dominate the market by the end of the forecast period. The adoption of cold packaging solutions in the region increases at a healthy rate due 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.

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 demand for cold storage packaging is high in the food industry. It is used to insulate frozen vegetables, fruits, and other agricultural produce.

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In Africa, leading cold chain associations, such as the Global Cold Chain Alliance, are working 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 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 Focus on New Product Launch to Meet Growing Consumer Demand

The market is fragmented, with a large number of global and local players. Therefore, due to the increasing competition from local players, the leading global players focus on developing new products and broadening their consumer base across the world. For instance, Softbox Systems, one of the leading manufacturers of cold chain packaging 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.


  • Cold Chain Technologies (USA)

  • Pelican BioThermal (USA)

  • Sonoco ThermoSafe (USA)

  • Softbox Systems (UK)

  • Sealed Air Corporation (USA)

  • CREOPACK (Canada)

  • Sofrigam (France)

  • Intelsius (UK)

  • Nordic Cold Chain Solutions (USA)

  • Tempack (Spain)

  • Cryopak (USA)


  • February 04, 2020: Pelican BioThermal announced the acquisition of NanoCool, a New Mexico-based manufacturer of temperature-controlled packaging solutions. This acquisition has further increased the breadth of the Pelican BioThermal product portfolio in Latin America.


An Infographic Representation of Cold Chain Packaging Market

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The global cold chain packaging market report provides both qualitative & quantitative insights into the global market. Quantitative insights include the global market sizing in terms of value (USD Billion) across each segment, sub-segment, and region profiled in the scope of the study. Also, it covers market share analysis and growth rates of the segment, sub-segments, and key counties across each region. The qualitative insight covers the elaborative analysis of market drivers, restraints, growth opportunities, key trends related to the market. The competitive landscape section covers detailed company profiling of key players operating in the global market.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion)


  By Product Type; By Application; and By Geography

By Product Type

  • EPS Containers

  • PUR Containers

  • Pallet Shippers

  • Vacuum Insulated Panels

  • Others

By Application

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Food

  • Industrial

By Geography

  • North America (By Product Type, By Application, By Country)

    • The U.S. (By Application)

    • Canada (By Application)

  • Europe (By Product Type, By Application, By Country)

    • Germany (By Application)

    • UK (By Application)

    • France (By Application)

    • Scandinavia (By Application)

    • Rest of Europe (By Application)

  • Asia Pacific (By Product Type, By Application, By Country)

    • China (By Application)

    • India (By Application)

    • Japan (By Application)

    • ASEAN (By Application)

    • India (By Application)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Application)

  • Latin America (By Product Type, By Application, By Country)

    • Brazil (By Application)

    • Mexico (By Application)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Application)

  • The Middle East & Africa (By Product Type, By Application, By Country)

    • Middle East (By Application)

    • Africa (By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 19.36 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 43.40 billion by 2028.

The global market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.8% during the forecast period.

Based on the application, the food segment held the highest share in the market.

The stronger demand from the pharmaceuticals and food industries is the key factor driving the market.

Cold Chain Technologies, Pelican BioThermal, Sonoco Thermosafe, Softbox Systems, Sealed Air Corporation, CREOPACK, Sofrigam, Intelsius, Nordic Cold Chain Solutions, Tempack, and Cryopack are the key players in the global market.

Europe dominated the global market in terms of share in 2020.

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Cold Chain Packaging Market Size, Share and Global Industry Trend Forecast till 2026
  • Jul, 2021
  • 2020
  • 2017-2019
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