The global intermediate bulk container (IBC) liners market reached US$ 788.1 Mn in 2019, experiencing moderate deceleration in 2020 due to COVID-19. Heightened demand for packaged foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals have largely sustained demand.
As the packaging industry undergoes paradigm shifts, demand for efficient solutions is prompting manufacturers to introduce novel technologies aimed at economizing space while simultaneously providing protection from hostile conditions, paving way for liners for IBCs.
As per FMI’s analysis, the IBC liners market is projected to expand at nearly 5% value CAGR through 2030, reaching US$ 1.2 Bn in revenue.
Aggrandizing Need for Cost Optimization
As bulk packaging acquires precedence, manufacturers are scrambling to incorporate cost-effective solutions to enhance productivity. As competition intensifies, price pressures ranging from logistics to raw material procurement have posed significant challenges to market players.
As businesses look toward rationalization and inventory streamlining, IBC sales are witnessing a significant upsurge. IBC liners are touted to help companies achieve increased resource efficiency, an important objective in the transition towards a circular economy.
Reusable and recyclable liners are important developments in this respect. French paper manufacturing giant Ahlstrom, for instance, has reported annual cost savings worth € 30,000 (US$ 35,767.2) due to the adoption of recyclable IBC packaging solutions. Such developments are pivoting market growth in a positive direction.
Surging Global Trade
According to the World Trade Organization, global merchandize trade reached US$ 19 trillion in 2019, while commercial services amounted to nearly US$ 6 trillion. Trade in manufactured goods represents 70% of world merchandize exports. Consequently, the global packaging industry has also experienced an incline.
Based on these trends, the intermediate bulk containers market outlook appears quite optimistic in the long-run. Demand is likely to remain strong particularly across the food & beverage domain, as consumption of instant foodstuffs has burgeoned significant amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
To that end, manufacturers are leveraging every opportunity to introduce new packaging solutions, Amcor PLC, for instance, recently designed the lightest PET bottle for packaging edible oil in Brazil, with a capacity of 900 ml. The bottle is 22% lighter than other conventional oil bottles, leading to immense cost savings.
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High Uptake across the Chemical Industry
IBC liners have proven highly effective in the storage and transportation of hazardous chemicals and materials, thereby prompting governments to encourage its enhanced usage. Various regulations have been advocated to ensure their increased uptake.
For instance, according to the U.S Code 49 CFR 173.35 , all IBCs other than multiwall paper 13M1 and 13M2 may be reused for hazardous material shipping. If an inner liner is needed, it must be replaced prior to each use, and the container thoroughly inspected by the company filling it.
The most popular chemical transportation grade IBC liner is the Bulk Box manufactured by CHEP. The container is available in a dimension of 1220 x 1040 mm and is approved by the United Nations for the safe transport and storage of hazardous products.
Heightened Risk Factors
Composite IBCs containing combustible liquids can create potential fire hazards, should the containers break. These containers are easily breached even by a small fire, thus rendering them a highly unsustainable option.
Additionally, once the unit is emptied, the composite may ignite and initiate a pool fire. Pool fires can be catastrophic events, capable of destroying an entire warehouse or building. Moreover, a spreading pool can endanger adjacent buildings as well. All these factors are expected to act as key growth inhibitors for the future.
Fortunately, government regulations concerning their uptake are sustaining demand, with strict legislations in place governing the material type to be used while manufacturing IBC liners.
IBC Liners Market: Regional Insights
North America IBC Liners Market
The North American IBC liners market is expected to reach nearly US$ 135 Mn by 2020-end. While a Pan-American packaging legislation is absent, the federal government has asserted its authority to regulate, food, drug and cosmetic packaging to enhance consumer safety and confidence.
CHEP is a prominent IBC liners manufacturer, offering a range of solutions, from open top to form fit and hot fit film to aseptic. All its product lines meet the FSSC22000 and IMS Certification standards and also meet FDA requirements for food contact.
The company manufactures the Form Fit Liner which is engineered to reduce labor as well as minimize product residue. The solution is USDA, Kosher and IMS compliant in addition to the FDA approval. Such forays by prominent manufacturers is expected to broaden growth scope of the North American market.
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Europe IBC Liners Market
The European IBC liners market represents an incremental opportunity of nearly US$ 3 Mn by 2021, attributed to extensive adoption of bag-in-box containers and liners instead of rigid or stainless steel IBCs.
This adoption is steered by credible developments in the cosmetics and pharmaceuticals packaging domains. For instance, Form-Fit and Air-Assist liner technologies are becoming highly popular, attributed to their enhanced efficiency levels.
In November 2019, the Industry4Europe coalition called for the establishment of a long-term ambitious EU industrial strategy which would help the continent remain a hub for a smart, innovative and sustainable packaging industry. This strategy is expected to boost prospects for IBC liners in the future.
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East Asia IBC Liners Market
The East Asian market is likely to present lucrative growth opportunities to prominent IBC liners manufacturers, owing to rapid economic growth across countries such as China, Japan & South Korea, thus fueling growth of numerous industrial clusters.
Demand is being largely sustained by the food packaging segment, attributed to rising per capita food consumption in the wake of rapid population expansion. In 2019, the Chinese government amended its Food Safety Law to strengthen regulations on foods for special medical purposes (FSMP).
The government has strengthened its inspection on health food labelling and advertising, which has necessitated use of appropriate food packaging standards, thus increasing the uptake of IBC liners in the future.
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IBC Liners Market- Category-wise Insights
1000 to 1500 Liters Capacity Liners Remain Preferred
By capacity, the 1000 to 1500 liters IBC liners are likely to find extensive applications across various industries, reaching US$ 691.1 Mn by 2021. Players such as STERIPAC Asia are the forefront, manufacturing packaging solutions for liquid foods such as sauces and fruit juices.
Simultaneously, the above 1500 liters segment is also expected to gather momentum. Their uptake is likely to be maximum across the chemicals manufacturing segment, owing to the need to transport bulk quantities of industrial solvents, oils, chemicals and other materials.
Polyethylene Liners to Retain Lucrativeness
Polyethylene liners are expected to generate over 36% of the global revenue share by 2021, driven by high demand for extra protective layers for packaging materials. Polyethylene liners help prevent leaks, offer protection from dust and moisture and prevents contamination.
However, polypropylene liners are expected to be equally popular, attributed to their high degree of flexibility and weldability, excellent ultraviolet resistance and low expansion and contraction rate. The segment is expected to generate US$ 220.1 Mn by 2020-end.
Food Packaging Generates Credible Opportunities
By end-use, the food packaging segment is expected to attract significant investments through 2030. Growing demand for ready-to-eat packaged foodstuffs is acting as a key growth accelerator. The edible oil segment shall register volume sales worth 389,000 units by 2020-end.
Non-alcoholic beverage IBC liner packaging is following close behind, expected to generate nearly 17% revenue by 2020-end. High demand for functional and healthy beverages to boost overall health and immunity is expected to propel demand for robust packaging solutions across the segment.
COVID-19’s Impact on IBC Liners Market
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a -0.3% blip in the global IBC liners market, attributed to the imposition of stringent lockdowns which impacted global packaging supply chains and logistical arrangements in the initial wave of infections. Fortunately, governments are gradually lifting restrictions, leading to a resurgence.
Demand is being largely sustained by increasing consumption of instant foods & beverages and pharmaceutical products. As per an OECD publication, weekly sales of frozen foods were 63% higher in March 2020 compared to the previous year in France, while Germany registered a yearly increase of 56%.
Since then, demand has hovered around 15-20% higher. As a consequence, the need for efficient and safe packaging solutions have witnessed credible proliferation, thus paving the way for IBC liners market expansion.
Likewise, the pharmaceutical industry has also provided impetus to the market. For instance, the Indian pharmaceutical market registered a 12% increase in its drug exports as opposed to 10% the previous fiscal. Consequently, effective packaging solutions have been deployed to ensure their safe delivery.
As the world braces for the second infection wave, packaging giants are strengthening existing supply chains and logistical arrangements to navigate through the pandemic crisis, thereby offsetting any further anticipated recessionary impact in the remainder of the crisis.
IBC Liners Market: Competitive Insights
Future Market Insights has profiled the following IBC liners manufacturers in its exhaustive study*:
- Amcor Plc (Bemis Company, Inc.)
- Nittel GmbH & Co KG
- Sealed Air Corporation
- Arena Products, Inc
- Qbig Packaging B.V
- CDF Corporation
- Brambles Industries Limited
- Composite Containers LLC
- Peak Packaging Ltd
- Paper Systems Inc.
- W. Stuart Smith Inc.
- Qingdao LAF Packaging Co., Ltd
- Bycom Industries Pte Ltd
- ILC Dover LP
- LC Packaging International BV
- Palmetto Industries
- Bulk Lift International, Inc.
- Hanlon Solutions Resource, Inc.
- Multipac Pty. Ltd
- Freedom Manufacturing LLC.
*This list is indicative- full details about IBC liners market players is available upon request.
The aforementioned players depend on geographical expansion, strategic mergers, acquisitions, collaborations and product launches to penetrate lucrative markets. Primary emphasis is being laid on emerging economies, attributed to the presence of a large customer base, providing immense scope for revenue and operational expansion.
In September 2020, Amcor PLC collaborated with Swiss food giant Nestle to launch a breakthrough packaging solution in the recyclable packaging domain. The product in question is a recyclable retort pouch for cat food, expected to accrue an improvement of nearly 60% of the environmental footprint in consumer packaging.
In July 2020, CDF Corporation received a UN recertification for its fiberboard box with a plastic bag combination package, providing the highest levels of protection for transporting hazardous products requiring class II and III packaging. The packaging box underwent four rigorous performance tests, including drop, stacking vibration and Cobb water absorption.
In March 2019, Peak Packaging Ltd unveiled a new generation of trunk liners, delivering all the features of cube and pillow liners along with the advantage of container filling at a distance. The trunk, which comes in a sleeve of film, ensures that the hygienic quality of the product is maintained.
IBC Liners Market- Report Scope
Historical Data Available for
US$ Mn for Value & ‘000 Units for Volume
Key Regions Covered
North America, Latin America, Europe, South Asia, East Asia, Oceania and Middle East & Africa
Key Countries Covered
U.S, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Italy, France, U.K, Russia, GCC, Japan, India, China and Australia
Key Segments Covered
Material Type, Thickness, Content Type, Filling Technology & End-use
Key Companies Profiled
Amcor Plc (Bemis Company, Inc.), Nittel GmbH & Co KG, Sealed Air Corporation, Arena Products, Inc, Qbig Packaging B.V, CDF Corporation, Brambles Industries Limited, Composite Containers LLC, Peak Packaging Ltd, Paper Systems Inc, W. Stuart Smith Inc, Qingdao LAF Packaging Co., Ltd, Bycom Industries Pte Ltd, ILC Dover LP, LC Packaging International BV, Palmetto Industries, Bulk Lift International, Inc., Hanlon Solutions Resource, Inc., Multipac Pty. Ltd and Freedom Manufacturing LLC.
Market Overview, Key Market Trends, Key Success Factors, Market Background, COVID-19 Impact Analysis, Demand Analysis, Segmental Overview, Regional Profiling, Market Structure Analysis & Competition Analysis
Customization & Pricing
Key questions answered in the report
- How with the IRC liners market grow in the near-term forecast?
The global IRC liners market is poised to register a slight downswing amounting to -0.3% in 2020, owing to initial setbacks experienced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- What drives the global IRC liners market growth?
The global IRC liners market growth is underpinned by a surging volume of global trade, the scramble to achieve cost optimization and increasing uptake of secure packaging solutions across the chemical industry
- Which is the largest market for IRC liner packaging solutions?
North America represents a lucrative market for IRC liners, attributed to stringent compliance provisions established by the government. However, East Asia is likely to witness considerable growth in the upcoming forecast period
- How is COVID-19 impacting the predicted growth trajectory?
Amid COVID-19, the IBC liners market has experienced surging demand post the initial months. This demand is largely anchored by growing consumption of instant foods & beverages and pharmaceutical & personal care products across all regions
- Which are the prominent players in the IBC liners market?
Some prominent players in the global IBC liners market include Amcor Plc (Bemis Company, Inc.), Nittel GmbH & Co KG, Sealed Air Corporation, Arena Products, Inc, Qbig Packaging B.V, CDF Corporation, Brambles Industries Limited, Composite Containers LLC, Peak Packaging Ltd, Paper Systems Inc, W. Stuart Smith Inc, Qingdao LAF Packaging Co., Ltd to name a few
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- Up to 1,000 liters
- 1,000 to 1,500 liters
- Above 1,500 liters
- Polyamide (PA)
- Polypropylene (PP)
- Aluminum Foil
- Others (PVC, PET)
- Up to 50 micron
- 50 to 100 micron
- 100 to 150 micron
- Above 150 micron
- Powder & Granules
- Edible Oil
- Dry Food
- Paints, Inks & Dyes
- Petroleum, Lubricants & Others
- North America (U.S & Canada)
- Latin America (Brazil, Mexico & Rest of Latin America)
- Europe (Germany, Italy, France, U.K, Spain, BENELUX, Russia & Rest of Europe)
- East Asia (China, Japan & South Korea)
- South Asia (India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia & Rest of South Asia)
- Middle East & Africa (GCC, Turkey, Northern Africa, South Africa & Rest of MEA)
- Oceania (Australia & New Zealand)