Strong position of corrugated board in the mail order business

According to a new study, 90 percent of packaging used in the mail order business is made of corrugated board. The Verband der Wellpappen-Industrie e. V. (VDW) believes that this is due not only to the resilience of the material, but also to the continuous further development of packaging solutions. From an ecological point of view, corrugated board can also convince as a recycled product.

A new study conducted by the Gesellschaft für Verpackungsmarktforschung (GVM) on behalf of the VDW examined the role of corrugated cardboard boxes and cartons in the mail order business. „It is well known that end consumers have been increasingly shopping online even before the coronavirus pandemic,“ explains Dr. Oliver Wolfrum, managing director of the VDW. „With this study, we wanted to go a step further and shed light on what role sustainable packaging made of corrugated board currently plays in the entire mail order business, including the B2B sector.“ The analysis therefore included all shipping packaging sent in 2019 on the German market by courier, express and parcel services to both private customers and commercial recipients. The result: in 2019, 44 percent of all shipping packaging in Germany was used by commercial customers and 56 percent by private recipients. Overall, packaging consumption was 895.1 kilotons. Corrugated board accounted for 807.6 kilotons of this – corresponding to 90 percent of all shipping packaging used in 2019.

„Corrugated board therefore currently represents the most important packaging material in the mail order business,“ Wolfrum said. The VDW sees the reasons for the leading role played by shipping packaging made of corrugated board not only in the material’s high load-bearing capacity and protective effect. The corrugated board industry is also responding to the changing demands of the market for packaging by constantly developing its products. For example, there is more and more interest in solutions that are optimally tailored to the shape and size of the product. Single-material packaging, in which customized corrugated board elements protect the goods, is also very much in demand. The strong position of corrugated board in the mail order business is good news from an ecological point of view, emphasizes Wolfrum, „because packaging made of corrugated board is based on renewable raw materials and can demonstrate a smoothly functioning material cycle. It is almost completely collected and recycled in both the commercial and private sectors,“ says the VDW managing director. On average, corrugated board consists of 80 percent recycled material.