There once was a time when holiday shopping was an absolute nightmare. Remember bundling up from head to toe, scraping frost off the car windshield, and then driving out to the store only to battle it out in a hostile headlight stare down for that last coveted parking space?
What once was agony is now pure shopping bliss thanks to online shopping. Today, holiday shoppers have access to a seemingly endless inventory of retail goodies at their fingertips. Retailers like Amazon, Apple, Target and Walmart have made online shopping convenient with simple checkout options and added perks like free shipping.
The convenience factor of E-commerce has attracted shoppers in droves. In fact, most shoppers are now going online to make their purchases. In 2016, about 190 million U.S. consumers shopped online, according to Forrester Research, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
This increase in online shopping has also created added demand for corrugated boxes. The demand is especially high before the holiday season. Not only are U.S. box plants pushing to catch up with the surge during the week leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but they are experiencing a high demand as far back as mid-October until the end of the holiday season.
During this timeframe in 2016, UPS daily deliveries nearly doubled from 16 million to 30 million packages per day. FedEX and USPS also saw a huge spike in deliveries last holiday season as well.
But UPS, FedEX and USPS aren’t the only ones working around the clock during the holidays. Presses and machines at corrugated box plants run 24 hours a day in order to keep up with the demand. However, with plants already running at maximum capacity, equipment can only produce so much in so little time throughout this short-term period.
With no signs of E-commerce holiday shopping slowing down, how will the box industry adapt and evolve to meet this continuously growing seasonal demand?