Press Releases

WRAP IT UP SAFE!

AMI, Bristol, 1st March 2016 - AMI Consulting, a division of Applied Market Information Ltd., just published a new report on the palletisation films market analysing the latest trends in the use of pallet stretch wrap, shrink hoods and stretch hoods, along with developments in  technology, innovation, changing film formulation and supply chain.

Currently, many millions of euros are lost annually as a result of goods becoming damaged in transit. This trend has been on the increase as a result of downgauging across all levels of packaging, i.e. primary, secondary and tertiary. For example significant downgauging has occurred with plastic bottles, collation shrink film and pallet stretch wrap, any or all of which can have a serious impact on the overall load stability. Companies need to understand that it is the optimisation of the overall packaging system that is critical to the safe transport of palletised goods. Film extrusion technologies and advances in raw material characteristics will continue to facilitate cost reduction without compromising film performance and safety criteria.

The use of cardboard as a tertiary packaging medium has declined substantially: its place was taken initially by strapping, which did not offer any protection from the elements, and then by polyethylene shrink hoods. Later on, pallet stretch films rapidly became the unitisation method of choice and, more recently, significant inroads have been made by pallet stretch hoods, such that polyethylene film solutions to the stabilisation and protection of goods in transit have become the norm.

The three pallet unitisation films, pallet stretch film, shrink hoods and stretch hoods, represent a major segment of polyethylene packaging activity within Europe as they jointly account for some 20% of total polyethylene film production in Europe. The total demand for these films accounted for almost 1.6 million tonnes in 2015 with stretch wrap representing over 70% of this, followed by shrink hoods with just under 20% and the rest of 10% held by stretch hoods. The market for pallet stretch wrap is expected to advance at a moderate pace of just under 2% per annum over the next five years, while the demand for shrink hoods is forecast to decline at the same rate over that period. Meanwhile, stretch hoods, the main cause of the erosion of the shrink hood market, are forecast to continue growing at around 7% per annum to the year 2020.

 

As the cost of wrapping machinery comes down because of increased competition from new entrants, and the wrap cost per pallet reduces as a result of thinner and stronger films being able to be stretched further, we are likely to see stretch hoods penetrate more of the spiral pallet wrap applications used by major customers such as beverage producers, which, especially in case of glass bottles, was until recently a sector largely dominated by shrink hoods.

Production economics are being challenged by the emergence of large scale producers of pallet stretch film in the Middle East and further afield, investing in new state-of-the-art high speed high output lines. The increasing availability of lower cost raw materials in North America resulting from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is likely to provide yet another challenge to European film producers in the future. This could drive a substantial shift in trade patterns and a radical change to the industry structure as these new players challenge the traditional European market leaders.

Because of the significant volumes of pallet stretch wrap produced by the ten leading players, nine out of them also belong to the largest producers of all palletisation films overall. The top ten palletisation films producers in Europe include Armando Alvarez, British Polythene Industries, Deriblok, Efekt Plus, Hipac, Manuli Stretch, Plastotecnica, Polifilm Extrusion, Signode Industrial Group and Trioplast.

Palletisation Films Europe 2016 is a new detailed market report from AMI Consulting. For further information please contact Karla Vittova, kv@amiplastics.com, Tel: +44 (0)117 314 8140.

In addition to its consultancy work, AMI also organises the annual conference for the stretch and shrink films sector. The next Stretch & Shrink Film Conference will be held in Cologne, Germany on 26-28 April 2016. For more information on the event please contact Giulia Esposito, ge@amiplastics.com, Tel: +44 (0)117 314 8156.