Aylesbury BOX Company | What’s on the Cards for Cardboard Packaging?
Meeting the demand for cardboard packaging has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for Aylesbury Box Company and other packaging manufacturers, but what is in store for 2022?
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What’s on the Cards for Cardboard Packaging?


What’s on the Cards for Cardboard Packaging?

Meeting the demand for cardboard packaging has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for Aylesbury Box Company and other packaging manufacturers. Globally, demand outstripped supply in early 2021 and we had to respond. We expanded to fulfil customer orders, but what is in store for 2022?

Demand for Corrugated Cardboard

The reliance on deliveries to households during lockdown created a rapid increase in demand for corrugated cardboard boxes. At times, it was a challenge to keep up. In many companies, demand outstripped supply. We fully appreciate that our team pulled out all the stops to manufacture the highest volume of orders in our history.

Growing demand informed our decision to expand operations. This included purchasing a neighbouring unit, investing in new machinery and recruiting more team members. These actions have made it possible to continue our high levels of customer service and packaging production.

This was a long-term strategy, so the question is, will it pay off as the peak in demand declines?

Cardboard Industry Forecasts

A report published by NOA forecasts cardboard industry growth of 4.9% in 2022. This is significantly higher than in 2020 and even tops the overall growth of 3.7% in 2021. It shows that although things have calmed from the peak of demand, cardboard boxes remain essential for manufacturers and e-commerce retailers.

What is driving Cardboard Industry Growth?

NOA reports that the continued demand for cardboard packaging is driven by e-commerce and the Plastic Tax.

E-commerce Packaging

The shift towards online shopping may have declined as people returned to the workplace, but it remains high. We have all become used to buying from online retailers. Footfall in shops has increased, but the internet offers levels of convenience and choice that can’t be offered in-store. As cardboard postal boxes are lightweight, durable and protective, they make ideal e-commerce packaging.

In our experience, more customers are asking for evidence of green credentials. Sustainability is very much on the agenda and, as packaging is the first thing that customers judge a brand and product on, it matters. As an FSC® certified packaging supplier, we have helped many brands to fulfil environmental packaging goals and evidence supply chain sustainability.

Plastic Tax

NOA reports that another factor driving the growth in cardboard packaging is the Plastic Tax. Introduced at the same time that energy and fuel costs shot up, this is an expense that many businesses can do without. In a bid to avoid paying plastic tax, more companies are exploring alternative packaging materials. For many, cardboard is a viable option.

Supplies of Oil & Timber for Packaging Production

Linked to this is the potential impact of reducing or ceasing oil supplies from Russia on the plastics industry. Petrochemicals are an essential component of plastic, so a drop in supply or a rise in cost will affect production.

Having said this, Russia also supplies considerable volumes of timber for the paper industry. However, the fact that paper and cardboard are widely and efficiently recycled will help to reduce the impact. We just need all householders to recycle empty boxes, rather than keeping hold of them.

Packaging Company Expansion

Looking at the NOA forecasts reaffirms our decision that investing in the business was well informed. In addition, we are realising the benefits of optimising energy efficiency and resource management in our operations. The future will have its challenges, but we feel well-positioned to continue providing quality products and services to customers.

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