Predictions for the Global Wooden Packaging Market 2017-2020

There are plenty of predictions for the wooden packaging market for 2017-2020 and they are all pretty positive for the industry. Since the great global recession in 2008 the market has bounced back nicely but that recession actually took a toll on the availability of wooden pallets and returnable wooden pallets. Less pallets were made during the economic down turn which means there are less pallets in circulation currently.

wooden palletThere is plenty of evidence that suggests that the use of wooden packaging is going to completely muscle out plastics by 2020 and easily take the lead in the choice packaging because of the sustainability of the production of wooden pallets VS those made of plastics.

As the global community becomes hyper aware of the issues with petroleum based products and the amount of pollution that is generated from the production of these products.

As the consumer presses for changes and governments press for changes industry will come around and make the changes. Of course since wooden packaging is reusable, recyclable and has a completely closed loop life span it is the easiest choice for industry.

The recession hit the packaging industry rather hard but that period has come to an end and the future looks very bright for anyone in the industry. The rise in demand will be tremendous over the next few years, so much so that It will be hard to keep up with.

There will be a big push for this type of packaging around the globe but there will be certain regions that will require a larger influx of these packaging options.

Where Will the height of the Need Be Located?

According to the experts and the analyst the bulk of the increase of need will be found in Asia. China and India are slated to be the leaders when it comes to need. It is estimated that by 2019 that 80% of all packaging in these regions will be wooden pallets.

While the interest in plastic pallets will remain high in the region it is not expected to have any effect on the need for wooden pallets. The packaging of choice in India and China is predicted to be those crafted from wood.

There will need to be a great deal of production of these pallets to make up what is missing from the market currently. It is estimated that by 2017 that China will be buying 1/5 of the worlds pallets.

The time to choose a niche market for anyone in packaging is now. The experts all agree that being able to export to India and China is a great opportunity that anyone in the industry should take advantage of.

The Growth

In 2014 there were over 73 million pallets in Europe alone, it is predicted that by 2020 that number can triple. 91% of all pallets are made from wood. In the last 3 years that has been a growth rate of about 11% each year, there is no reason to believe that this trend is not slated to continue over the next 3 years as well.

One source predicts that the need for this packaging option will continue to grow through the end of 2020. By the end of 2016 it is estimated that there will be 5.1 BILLION units globally. Modern Materials Handler goes on to say that:

"A pickup in manufacturing activity will spur across-the-board gains, especially in large, mature regional markets like North America and Western Europe."

As the economies around the globe get stronger, the need for optimal wooden packaging continues to increase. The growth potential is tremendous.


On the other side of the coin, manufacturers can expect that regulations will grow tighter when it comes to how wood is treated and how pallets are produced. The stricter guidelines initially will be difficult to comply with because there will need to be some changes but overall the transition will be smooth for most of the industry.

The regulations will be heightened when it comes to where the wood is sourced from, how it is treated during manufacturing and there will be wider call for reusable, returnable and recycling programs that are overseen by the manufacturer and the retailers of wooden packaging.

It will not only be the wood packaging options that will come under scrutiny over the next few years but so will the factories that create the pallets. It will be expected that factories across the board become “smarter” in how they handle everything from the production line to their waste.

Plastics will not be able to compete in the future when industry is really held under the microscope and required to use environmentally friendly options.


The picture could not be brighter for the future of wooden packaging. The growth and annual sales of this market is about to explode, so much so that manufacturers may struggle to keep up with the demand. Since the 2008-2014 era left a reduction in production and the stock pile had been depleted, manufacturers have been working hard to play a little catch up.

The growth potential of these packaging options in both developing countries and well-established industrial nations is tremendous and will keep climbing over the next 4 years.

It is hard to beat the reliability of these packaging options. They reduce risk, are easy to handle and can solve a lot of the waste issues that are associated with other packaging types that litter landfills.

The reusability, recyclability of wooden packaging is ideal in so many settings but especially in developing nations where funding may be somewhat limited. They are an excellent solution for both large and small entities and are truly and integral part of international trade.

As the globe gets smaller and more and more countries participate in the global market these tools will be recognized for making universal trade a lot easier. Eventually it is predicted that these types of packaging options will become the preferred standard for shipping, storage and warehouse optimization.


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