E-commerce is powering paper packaging demand, but its impact will weaken over next 5 years

16 July 2019

BOSTON, July 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Amazon's latest Prime Day highlights the importance of online retail sales to the modern economy. Shipping boxes from Amazon and other retailers symbolize e-commerce – and they also represent one of the most important sources of demand growth for containerboard and corrugated packaging in the US and Canada. For the first time, the "e-commerce boost" has been quantified by The Impact of E-commerce on North American Paper Packaging Markets, a new Special Study from Fastmarkets RISI.


"E-commerce and mail order retail uses about 7 times more corrugated per dollar of sales than traditional retail logistics," said Derek Mahlburg, Fastmarkets RISI Senior Economist and lead author of this all-new study. "E-commerce has become a significant driver of corrugated demand growth," Mahlburg said.

E-commerce/mail order sales made up about 17% of retail spending in 2018, but accounted for more than half of all corrugated box shipments to the US retail sector. The "e-commerce boost" for corrugated is expected to weaken, however.

"The biggest e-commerce companies are working to lower box usage. These and other factors point towards slower e-commerce-driven paper packaging demand growth through 2023," said Mahlburg.

For the first time, The Impact of E-commerce on North American Paper Packaging Markets establishes metrics that quantify how e-commerce has affected corrugated packaging demand in the US and Canada, and provides 5-year forecasts for key indicators.

Learn more at risi.com/e-commerce_study

About Fastmarkets

Fastmarkets is the leading price reporting, analytics and events organization for the global metals, mining and forest products markets. Fastmarkets' core activity in pricing drives transactions in commodities markets around the world and is complemented by news, industry data, analysis, conferences and insight services. Fastmarkets includes brands such as Fastmarkets MB, Fastmarkets AMM, Fastmarkets RISI and Fastmarkets FOEX (previously known as RISI and FOEX, respectively). Its main offices are in London, New York, Boston, Brussels, Helsinki, São Paulo, Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore. Fastmarkets is a part of Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, a listed company on the London Stock Exchange. Euromoney is a leading international business-to-business information group focused primarily on the global commodities, banking, and asset management markets.

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SOURCE Fastmarkets