With over 4,000 corrugated board and sheet plants across India, the market is responsible for directly and indirectly employing over half a million people in India.

Recording a GDP record growth rate of 9% for the fiscal year 2007–2008, India has emerged as the second-fastest big emerging economy in the world. As its manufacturing and retail industries continue to attract global attention, a strong focus on the country’s packaging sector is developing. Currently, India’s packaging industry stands at roughly US$ 23bn and is growing at a blistering pace of close to 10% per year. In the next five years, the sector is expected to double to around $ 50bn. While Indian packaging machinery exports are growing rapidly, the country still only has a per-capita packaging consumption of less than $15, compared to the US average of $100.

With a strong reliance on manual labour and a market dictated to by a weak transport infrastructure, experts suggest the packaging industry must embrace new technologies in order to consolidate its position. Automation represents a key transgressor in the packaging world, enabling companies to enhance productivity and supply-chain efficiencies. More importantly, it allows greater integration for companies within the global manufacturing ecosystem.

Alongside the growth of automation, India’s corrugated packaging segment has witnessed a significant evolution in recent years. With over 4,000 corrugated board and sheet plants across India, the market is responsible for directly and indirectly employing over half a million people in India.

While the industry is currently converting about 2 million tonnes of Kraft paper into corrugated boxes, prices of corrugated sheet and converted boxes have remained low due to overcapacity, manual operations and low productivity. Prices of corrugated sheet and converted boxes have remained low due to the overcapacity, manual operations and low productivity. Besides, transport constraints and high freight costs have meant that small to medium sized corrugated box plants are located near the customers. Also, continuously increasing price of raw materials have hit bottom lines of this very hard. “With growth of packaging industry in the state, a need is also being felt for setting up a Product Innovation and Design Center”.

The tax break offered by the central government has helped the packaging industries sector in Uttarakhand to expand. Over 100 packaging units have been set up since the government announced the 2003 concessional industrial packaging scheme for the state.

Future Trends

  • Increasing demand and high volumes will trigger con solidation and setting up of large automatic plants.
  • Inline Automatic Board and Box making plants will ease out the present semi automatic production processes.
  • Deployment of Folder Gluers, Rotary Diecutters will be on the increase.
  • Use of corrugated for display/promotional packs, POPs and dispensers.
  • Advances in multicolour, flexo printing will facilitate inhouse flexo printing and do away with screen printing, contract printing on offset presses.
  • The emergence of e-commerce, reverse bidding, concept of First Pak will give large scale units the advantage of competitiveness and the concept of locating corrugated box units nearer to user locations will become obsolete.
  • Large Corporates and Bulk users of corrugated boxes looking for single/multiple alternative vendors – capable of meeting stringent specifications, offering alternative designs, test-in-time deliveries at optimum cost.
  • Growing interest in machines made in China, Taiwan and other Asian countries.
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