Omni-channel Retail Will Boost Demand for Material Handling Containers

20 March 2019

CLEVELAND, March 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Demand for material handling containers is forecast to grow 2.3% annually through 2023 to $1.2 billion. In unit terms, demand is expected to reach 20.2 million. Gains will be supported by sustainability concerns, as reusable containers decrease costs and contribute to source reduction efforts. These and other trends are presented in Rigid Bulk Packaging, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

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Moreover, the increased popularity of omni-channel retail has provided a boost to demand for material handling containers in grocery and department stores where employees fulfill online orders by picking items from the store for delivery or pickup. These locations commonly use carts of plastic totes to keep orders separate.

However, the reusability of material handling containers will also prevent further growth for new units. Another factor preventing faster gains will be the trend toward lean manufacturing, which will cause manufacturers to cut down on excess product, resulting in lower demand for storage and shipment packaging.

Demand for all types of rigid bulk packaging (pails, drums, bulk boxes, material handling containers and rigid intermediate bulk containers) in the US is forecast to increase 2.4% annually to $7.3 billion in 2023. Growth will be driven primarily by an increased output of chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Healthy construction activity will boost production of paint, coatings, and other building materials that are packaged in pails, drums, and similar containers.

Rigid Bulk Packaging (published 02/2019, 181 pages) is available for $5400 from The Freedonia Group. Please link citations to

About The Freedonia Group, a division of – The Freedonia Group is a leading international industrial research company publishing more than 100 studies annually. Since 1985, we have provided research to customers ranging in size from global conglomerates to one-person consulting firms. More than 90% of the industrial companies in the Fortune 500 use Freedonia Group research to help with their strategic planning. Additional Packaging studies can be purchased at, and

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SOURCE The Freedonia Group