The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by increasing environmental awareness, sustainability, and convenience, and the growing importance of technologies, such as biodegradable packaging, Internet of Things, and active packaging. In the last three years alone, there have been over 310,000 patents filed and granted in the packaging industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Packaging: Breakage resistant crates.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity. 

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have. 

80+ innovations will shape the packaging industry 

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the packaging industry using innovation intensity models built on over 87,000 patents, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry. 

Within the emerging innovation stage, web dispensers for rotary baggage wrappers, multilayer laminated packaging, and oxygen blocking laminate packaging are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Water-soluble packaging films, cartridge type beverage dispensers, and medical syringe packaging are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are detachable drawer-and-shell type containers and barrier coated containers, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for the packaging industry 

Breakage-resistant crates is a key innovation area in packaging

Crates for transporting fragile bottles, have collapsible and flexible walls to ensure safety and breakage-resistant strength during transportation. 

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established packaging companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of breakage-resistant crates. 

Key players in breakage-resistant crates – a disruptive innovation in the packaging industry 

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators. 

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to breakage-resistant crates

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
IFCO Systems 133 Unlock company profile
Rehrig Pacific Company 104 Unlock company profile
Amcor 89 Unlock company profile
Schoeller Arca Systems 62 Unlock company profile
Yoshino Kogyosho 56 Unlock company profile
Niagara Bottling 46 Unlock company profile
Sidel International 38 Unlock company profile
Kotobuki Realty 30 Unlock company profile
DS Smith 26 Unlock company profile
Reynolds Group Holdings 25 Unlock company profile
Royal Unibrew 17 Unlock company profile
Constar International 15 Unlock company profile
Ecolab 14 Unlock company profile
Orbis Canada 14 Unlock company profile
Coca-Cola Enterprises Great Britain 13 Unlock company profile
Delbrouck 11 Unlock company profile
KHSoplast 9 Unlock company profile
Toyo Seikan Group Holdings 9 Unlock company profile
Sipa Progettazione Automaz 8 Unlock company profile
Silgan Holdings 8 Unlock company profile
Krones 7 Unlock company profile
Alpla Werke Alwin Lehner 7 Unlock company profile
Colgate-Palmolive 6 Unlock company profile
Graphic Packaging Holding 6 Unlock company profile
PepsiCo 6 Unlock company profile
Danone 6 Unlock company profile
BITO-Lagertechnik Bittmann 5 Unlock company profile
GOJO Industries 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

IFCO Systems is one of the leading patent filers in breakage-resistant crates. Recently, Ifco introduced a newly designed collapsible egg crate for the purpose of transporting dairy products and eggs through the whole supply chain.  The company claims that the crate is easy to handle and is suitable for the currently used dairy and egg crates used across the supply chain. 

Some other key patent filers in the breakage-resistant crates space include Rehrig Pacific Company, Amcor and Schoeller Arca Systems

In terms of application diversity, Silgan Holdings leads the pack, while Toyo Seikan Group and KHS Corpoplast stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, IFCO Systems held the top position, followed by Royal Unibrew and Ecolab

With product safety and reducing wastage being a top priority among manufacturers, breakage-resistant crates will potentially become an important aspect in the packaging industry. 

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the packaging industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Top Themes in Packaging 2022.

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.