Steel Drums and IBCs: The Push for Sustainability

Sep 11,2019

Packaging in today’s world is complex and involves more than just making boxes and containers, but also involves taking into consideration the materials to be packed, accessibility to them, durability, logistics and much more. There has been a sea change in the packaging industry in the past few decades, with several emerging trends expected to impact the market significantly. And even as the demand for better and more efficiency packaging continues to grow, the market continues to diversify and look at newer better solutions specific to each end-use industry.

Focus on Environment-friendly Products

There has been a global push, across industries for environment-friendly products and sustainability has also had a significant impact on the manufacturing and process of steel drums and intermediate bulk containers (IBCs). In recent years, the revived interest in sustainability in packaging, with regulations and consumer attitude reflecting the same.

As the global steel drums and IBCs market continues to grow rapidly in the foreseeable future, there has been a change in consumer preference pushing for sustainable alternatives and greener packaging. Manufacturers are also getting on the sustainability bandwagon to focus on reducing, re-using and recycling products. Key players are introducing product innovations to align with these ideals, while also focusing on quality and efficiency of the product. Companies are looking at innovative solutions using alternative materials, foldable container designs, lighter products and designs, and even the use bio-based plastics to improve the recycling process and recycled wastes.

The increased pressure across industries for the production and use of materials that can be recycled is a trend that has had a significant impact on the steel drums ad IBCs market as well. This has led to manufacturers and other players in the market to focus on product innovation that is sustainable and recycleable. The enforcement 3 R’s of sustainability - Reduce, Re-use and Recycle across the industry, has also been instrumental as well.

Reusing and recycling of steel drums and IBCs is being seen as a major step forward, as innovation in increasing their lifecycle is being focused on my players in the market. Numerous studies have stated that recycling of these steel drums and IBCs pose a significantly less negative impact on air and water pollution and are definitely a more energy efficient option than the production of new inventory.

Incorporation of Technology

Increasing seaborne trade has had a positive impact on the steel drum and intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) market, as the demand for safe, secure and efficient cargo transport rises. The race for a competitive advantage and increased efficacy has led to manufacturers in this landscape collaborating with technology providers as a strategy, for solutions as a step towards compete digitization of the shipping industry. This in turn has had a positive impact on the global steel drums and IBCs market landscape.

As is with every other major industry, technology has had a pervasive influence on the packaging industry. To adapt to the changing requirements of several end users, manufacturers in packaging, especially in the IBCs market are looking at incorporating new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and much more to help focus on client servicing, while also reducing costs and increasing efficiency.

IoT is being seen as a disrupter of the traditional processes of shipping that can be used to simplify the management of the industry itself. IoT solutions like mobility, real time asset tracking, environment monitoring are set to increase efficiency while reducing human errors and costs, enabling end users to accurately monitor assets in motion. Manufacturers are increasingly adopting technology integrated solutions to cater to the needs of end users, to transform trade for the better.