Impact of E-commerce on North American Paper Packaging Markets

Will paper packaging demand keep booming along with online retail growth, or will the "e-commerce boost" weaken in coming years? This study – the first of its kind available from any source – is an exhaustive analysis of how North American e-commerce shapes the corrugated packaging space.

The e-commerce/mail order retail sector uses 7 times as many boxes per dollar spent, compared to traditional brick-and-mortar retail logistics. But even as e-commerce spending keeps rising, containerboard demand growth slowed in the first half of 2019. Should the containerboard industry prepare for a weaker “e-commerce boost” going forward?

Prepare for any contingency with the Impact of E-commerce on North American Paper Packaging Markets. This first-ever study of this timely topic provides:

Essentials about e-commerce’s impact on corrugated packaging
  • Detailed breakouts of spending by merchandise type
  • Historical data showing impact on North American containerboard and corrugated box markets, broken out into retail and wholesale
  • E-commerce market statistics that are most relevant for packaging
27 risk scenarios to help model the future of the market
  • Forecasts of e-commerce for both the US and Canada, modeling three different scenarios for the evolution of three key variables:
    • Economic conditions
    • E-commerce/mail order share of relevant retail spending
    • Correlation of e-commerce and packaging demand
      • Along with presenting three different scenarios for each of these factors, the Impact of E-commerce on North American Paper Packaging Markets supports comparative analysis among them. This enables the analysis of 27 different risk scenarios for the future of the containerboard market in North America – a powerful analytical tool that can’t be found anywhere else.
E-commerce giants are working to use less corrugatedThe intensity of box usage per dollar of retail spending has increased in recent years, mostly due to the growth of e-commerce. However, this relationship – of growing online sales supporting growing box-usage intensity – is likely to deteriorate going forward.

Slowing growth, alternative packaging materials, and other threatsCurrent trends that threaten containerboard demand growth include:

  • Overbox reduction
  • Primary packaging redesign
  • On-site custom box conversion
  • Corrugated alternatives such as plastic mailers
  • Retail store fulfillment
The Impact of E-commerce on North American Paper Packaging Markets provides expert evaluation of these trends – backed by the most exhaustive data and analysis available from any source.

Request more information

What’s happening in the forest products market today?

Get the latest market insights from our team of forest products experts

Feedback was received during the consultation period of an immaterial nature that would not impact the result of price assessments. Therefore, while no material changes will be made to the methodologies at this stage, clarification indicating that the Effective List price treats changes in annually established discounts during the year as changes in the price. […]

Fastmarkets is inviting feedback from the industry on the pricing methodology for European Packaging Paper and Board as part of its announced annual methodology review process. This consultation, which is open until August 31, 2024 seeks to ensure that our methodologies continue to reflect the physical market under indexation, in compliance with the International Organization […]

In the methodology price specifications, the shorter names PIX Testliner GCC and PIX Fluting GCC will be used instead of PIX Containerboard Testliner Delivered GCC USD/tonne and PIX Containerboard Fluting Delivered GCC USD/tonne. No other changes have been made to the index methodology. For comments and queries, please email, indicating “PIX Packaging GCC” in […]

DS Smith announced a Euro 60/tonne price increase for European customers, with stable RCCM production costs and rising old corrugated container prices, while UKL prices surged across Europe except in the UK, hinting at potential hikes and market fluctuations.

There have been challenges with high recovered paper costs and sluggish demand from China, while fine paper prices saw modest increases driven by higher shipping costs, impacting both local and Chinese markets.

From price adjustments in the GCC to shifts in consumption patterns, learn what’s driving the latest Middle Eastern containerboard price movements in June

Woodfree paper prices continued to rise during the second quarter of the year as producers tried to offset higher input costs including transport and, particularly, pulp

Amid a market downturn, suppliers reconsider proposed price increases for pulp in China, revealing the complexities of the import pulp market

Amid inflation pressures, the North American pulp and paper market is seeing significant hikes in containerboard prices, underscoring the critical importance of price data in the industry

Are fluctuating raw material costs worsening the US housing affordability crisis? Urgent action is needed to preserve homebuying opportunities, as explored by the Fastmarkets team