Containerboard Market Size | Companies | Share | Growth

Containerboard Market Size to Attain USD 203.74 Bn by 2033

The report covers Containerboard Market Size, Share, Companies, Trends and Segments: By Material (Recycled, Virgin), By End-use (Food & Beverage, Consumer Goods, Industrial, Others), By Region (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa). The report offers the value (in USD Billion) for the above segments.

The global containerboard market size was valued at USD 154.13 billion in 2023 and to reach USD 203.74 billion by 2033, increasing at a CAGR of 2.83% from 2023 to 2033. The market is expected to be driven by rising demand for packaging materials that are lightweight and sustainable.

Containerboard Market Revenue 2023 - 2033

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Key Takeaways

  • Asia Pacific led the market with the largest revenue share of 50% in 2023.
  • North American is observed to grow at the fastest rate during the forecast period.
  • By material, the recycled material segment has contributed more than 78% of revenue share in 2023.
  • By material, the virgin material segment is expected to grow at the fastest rate during the forecast period.
  • By end-use, the food & beverage segment has generated the largest revenue share of 33% in 2023.
  • By end-use, the consumer goods segment is the fastest growing segment over the forecast period.

Market Overview

Containerboard is a type of paperboard designed for making corrugated fiberboard, essential in the packaging industry. It consists of multiple layers: a corrugated medium between two flat linerboards. The corrugated medium provides strength and rigidity, while the linerboards offer a smooth surface for printing and extra support. This composition makes container boards ideal for creating corrugated boxes and packaging materials used for shipping and storing goods.

There is a growing preference for sustainable and eco-friendly packaging solutions among consumers and companies. Containerboard, being recyclable and made from renewable resources, aligns well with this trend, boosting its demand. The future of the containerboard market looks promising with continued growth expected, driven by sustainable packaging trends, increasing e-commerce activities, and robust demand from various end-use industries. Innovations in manufacturing processes and recycling technologies will further support market expansion.

Growth Factors

  • The increasing urbanization specifically in developing countries is expected to fuel the market growth.
  • The surge in e-commerce has substantially driven the demand for containerboard which can impact the market positively.
  • Stringent regulations associated with packaging material and waste management can propel market growth further.
  • Technological advancements in manufacturing processes are also likely to contribute to market expansion.

Rising Demand from the Food and Beverage Industry to Act as a Driver

The growth of the food and beverage industry has raised the need for containerboard on a worldwide scale. The growing demand for packaged, frozen, and ready-to-eat goods as well as changing lifestyles have contributed to the growth of this industry. The market for containerboards is growing as a result. This industry is also being driven by the explosive expansion of e-commerce, since product-specific corrugated boxes are required to safeguard goods and guarantee safe delivery.

One of the top providers of packaging solutions, Saica Group, teamed up with one of the top producers of fast-moving consumer goods, Mondelez, in June 2024 to introduce a new paper-based product aimed at multipacks—goods for the chocolate, cookie, and confectionery industries. The novel paper-based packaging is appropriate for heat-sealing processes and is made to be recyclable in the paper waste stream.

Inclination Towards Digitization to Act as a Restraint

The growing trend towards digitalization poses a challenge to the containerboard market. As communication and documentation increasingly shift to digital platforms, the demand for traditional paper usage declines. Also, Businesses and consumers are opting for digital alternatives for online advertising, electronic communication, and document storage. This preference for digital mediums reduces the demand for printed materials, which can impact the need for container boards in packaging applications.

The growth of digitization, especially e-commerce, often leads to a shift towards more efficient and less bulky packaging solutions, reducing the demand for traditional containerboard. With the rise of digital documentation, storage, and communication, there is a decreasing need for paper-based products, including containerboard, which is used extensively in office supplies and paper-based packaging.

Rising Demand for Lightweight Materials to Open Opportunities

The growing demand for innovative lightweight materials is a key trend shaping the global containerboard market. Manufacturers are providing more lightweight, high-performance corrugated materials to reduce costs, improve performance, and to make sure compliance with regulations. Lower material consumption during production also minimizes environmental impact. The packaging industry is witnessing numerous innovations in response to this trend.

Lightweight materials reduce the overall weight of packaging, leading to lower transportation costs. This is particularly important in the containerboard market, where shipping efficiency can result in substantial savings. Lightweight materials often have a smaller environmental footprint, requiring less energy and resources to produce and transport. This aligns with increasing regulatory pressures and consumer demand for sustainable packaging solutions.

Industrial sectors, particularly in developing regions, are increasingly adopting lightweight containerboard for packaging due to its cost-effectiveness and efficiency. This trend is expected to drive market growth as industries seek to optimize their packaging solutions. Lightweight containerboard offers advantages in global trade by reducing shipping costs and meeting international standards for sustainable packaging. This opens up new markets and export opportunities for manufacturers.

  • Amcor introduced their "next generation" of medical laminate solutions in November 2023, paving the way for the creation of "all-film packaging that is recyclable in the polyethylene stream." By lowering the end package's carbon footprint and preserving device applications' performance requirements, the novel approach aids medical enterprises in achieving their sustainability objectives.

Regional Insight

Containerboard Market APAC, NA, EU, LA, MEA Share

How Asia Pacific’s Growing E-commerce Sector Supports the Market?

Asia Pacific leds the market by 50% in 2023 and is projected to grow at the fastest CAGR during the forecast period. The strong presence of end-use industries such as food and beverage, consumer goods, and agriculture is driving the demand for containerboard in the region. Additionally, increasing consumer spending, rapid urbanization, industrial trade, and production in countries like India and China are further enhancing the need for packaging materials. The retail and e-commerce sectors have also experienced substantial growth in the region in recent years.

Asia Pacific Containerboard Market Revenue 2023 - 2033

China is the world's largest manufacturing hub, producing a wide range of goods that require containerboard for packaging. The extensive use of containerboard in shipping and packaging manufactured products significantly contributes to the market's dominance. Significant investments in the paper and packaging industry in countries like China, Japan, and South Korea have led to the development of advanced manufacturing facilities. These investments enhance production capabilities and meet the growing regional and global demand for containerboard.

Countries in Asia Pacific are implementing extensive recycling programs to ensure the sustainability of packaging materials. For instance, China has set ambitious recycling targets and policies to support the circular economy, which benefits the containerboard market

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a significant surge in e-commerce activities in China. Lockdowns and social distancing measures led more consumers to shop online. For instance, during the 2020 Singles' Day shopping festival, Alibaba reported record sales of $74.1 billion, a 26% increase from the previous year. This dramatic rise in online shopping increased the demand for packaging materials, particularly containerboard, to handle the vast number of parcels and shipments.

Another major player in the containerboard market, this Hong Kong-based company has invested heavily in production facilities across China and other regions to cater to the increasing demand.

North America’s Demand for Lightweight Materials to Promote the Market’s Growth

North America on the other hand is observed to grow at the fastest rate in the containerboard market during the forecast period. Due to the increased use of sustainable products and the ability to provide lightweight and durable packaging, North America is expected to hold a significant market share globally. The rising demand for cosmetics and personal care products also contributes to this growth. In North America, the U.S. is the largest consumer of containerboard, driven by the growing trend of food deliveries and packaged food in the country.

The continent has a high demand for packaging materials due to its large consumer market and industrial base, driving the need for containerboard products. Efficient transportation networks and infrastructure support the distribution of containerboard products across the continent and internationally, enhancing market reach and competitiveness.

  • DS Smith, a top supplier of fiber-based corrugated packaging that is sustainable worldwide, will introduce its DryPack seafood box in North America in March 2024. The DS Smith DryPack is a 100% recyclable, leak-proof box that may be used in cold chain operations to keep fresh fish below 40 degrees

Fahrenheit for more than 40 hours. It is a sustainable alternative to expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam boxes.

Segment Insights

Material Insights

The recycled material segment dominated the containerboard market in 2023. The increasing environmental concerns are driving the use of sustainable packaging materials. Recycled fiber can be reused 6-7 times while maintaining durability, by reducing waste. Additionally, recycled materials are favored for their cost-effectiveness and compliance with government sustainability standards and regulations.
Producing containerboard from recycled materials is often more cost-effective compared to using virgin fibers. The recycling process typically requires less energy and water, leading to lower production costs. This cost advantage makes recycled containerboard an economically viable option for manufacturers, especially in price-sensitive markets.

Containerboard Market Share, By Material, 2023 (%)

There is a growing emphasis on environmental sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint in manufacturing processes. Recycled materials in containerboard production help conserve natural resources, reduce waste, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. This aligns with the global push towards more sustainable practices, making recycled containerboards more attractive to consumers and businesses alike.

  • In October 2023, Fiber Recycling Tool for Packaging Launches in the USISRI Fiber Recycling Readiness Tool focuses on recycling post-consumer fiber-based paper, paperboard, and corrugated packaging that will be marketed in the US.

The virgin material segment is expected to grow at the fastest rate during the forecast period in the containerboard market. In the containerboard market, the virgin segment pertains to containerboard made from entirely new and unused paper fibers. This segment highlights high-quality packaging materials, providing superior strength and printability. Current trends in the virgin segment emphasize sustainability through the responsible sourcing of raw materials and environmentally friendly production processes.

End-use Insights

In 2023, the food & beverage segment dominated the containerboard market by holding the largest market share. this is because Packaged foods are in high demand due to their minimal preparation time. This demand is driven by a growing young population and an increasing number of working women, contributing to market growth. moreover, Food and beverage companies are using corrugated board packaging because it can withstand long delivery times and keeps moisture away from food products. Therefore, the food and beverage market is expected to account for a significant portion of the containerboard market.

The consumer goods segment is the fastest growing segment over the forecast period in the containerboard market. This can be attributed to Increasing purchasing power, higher living standards, and rapid urbanization in both developed and developing countries are expected to propel the consumer goods sector, and hence can drive the demand for containerboard. As competition in the consumer goods industry intensifies, the need for container boards for effective branding is anticipated to rise.

Major Breakthroughs in the Containerboard Market

  • In May 2023, International Paper announced that it would invest $100 million to expand its corrugated packaging capacity in North America. The investment will be used to build a new corrugated sheet plant in Georgia and to upgrade existing corrugated packaging facilities in Texas and Wisconsin.
  • In April 2023, Smurfit Kappa Group announced that it had acquired Corrugated Containers, Inc., a leading corrugated packaging company in the United States. The acquisition will strengthen Smurfit Kappa's position in the US corrugated packaging market.
  • In 2022, WestRock Company announced its plan to construct a corrugated box production facility in Washington, U.S. The new plant will help the company to cater to increasing the demand for corrugated boxes in the Pacific Northwest.

Top Companies in the Containerboard Market

  • International Paper
  • Oji Fibre Solutions (NZ) Ltd
  • Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Limited
  • Smurfit Kappa Group
  • Mondi Limited.
  • WestRock Company
  • Sappi Ltd
  • Cascades Inc.
  • Stora Enso Oyj
  • Georgia-Pacific LLC

Market Segments

By Material

  • Recycled
  • Virgin

By End-use  

  • Food & Beverage
  • Consumer Goods
  • Industrial
  • Others

By Region

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
  • Middle East and Africa

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About The Author

Asmita Singh is a renowned author and consultant in the packaging industry, known for her deep passion for knowledge discovery and commitment to delivering actionable insights. With extensive experience in implementing advanced research methodologies, Asmita generates high-quality data and meaningful results that drive innovation and efficiency in packaging solutions. Her expertise spans the globe, offering valuable consulting services to businesses aiming to enhance their packaging strategies. Asmitas work is characterized by a dedication to excellence and a keen understanding of the latest trends and technologies shaping the future of packaging.


The global containerboard market size to reach USD 203.74 billion by 2033.

2.83% is the growth rate of the containerboard industry.

International Paper, Oji Fibre Solutions (NZ) Ltd, Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Limited, Smurfit Kappa Group, Mondi Limited., WestRock Company, Sappi Ltd, Cascades Inc., Stora Enso Oyj, Georgia-Pacific LLC. are the prominent players operating in the containerboard market.

Asia Pacific region leads the global containerboard market.