The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by urbanisation, sustainability, safety & trust, healthy living, and the growing importance of technologies, such as 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: Flexible liners for storage containers.

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

Flexible liners for storage containers is a key innovation area in packaging

Flexible liners are essential for transportation through ocean shipping containers. Liners are basically made up of polymer equipped inside a packaging bag. They provide protection to dry flowable goods against humidity and air along with adverse effects of light by forming a shield between the product, walls and floor of the container.

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 flexible liners for storage containers.

Key players in flexible liners for storage containers – 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 easy tear composite wrappers

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Oy Langh Ship 65 Unlock company profile
U.S. Silica Holdings 39 Unlock company profile
Sartorius 31 Unlock company profile
Trans Ocean Bulk Logistics 23 Unlock company profile
Invest 21 Unlock company profile
Shanghai Hongyan Returnable Transit Packagings 16 Unlock company profile
Tisza Textil Packaging 16 Unlock company profile
China International Marine Containers (Group) 11 Unlock company profile
Wolftank-Adisa Holding 10 Unlock company profile
Subsea 7 9 Unlock company profile
DR. Alexander Wacker Familiengesellschaft MIT Beschraenkter Haftung 9 Unlock company profile
CIMC Enric Holdings 8 Unlock company profile
Top Frontier Investment Holdings 8 Unlock company profile
Kongsberg Gruppen 7 Unlock company profile
BASF 7 Unlock company profile
SandCan 6 Unlock company profile
NOV 6 Unlock company profile
Lincoln Electric Holdings 5 Unlock company profile
Consult Supply 5 Unlock company profile
Danaher 5 Unlock company profile
Cargill 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Oy Langh Ship is one of the leading patent filers in flexible liners for storage containers. Some other key patent filers in the space include U.S. Silica Holdings, Sartorius, Trans Ocean Bulk Logistics, and Invest.

Recently, Oy Langh Ship ordered three 1,200 TEU container vessels from China, which will be employed for container traffic in Europe.

In terms of application diversity, Top Frontier Investment Holdings leads the pack. Subsea 7 and Invest stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Subsea 7 held the top position, followed by Invest and Trans Ocean Bulk Logistics.

Flexible liners for storage containers will prove beneficial for the transportation of any type of goods and products across borders, mainly through shipping, thus helping large and small companies to expand their businesses.

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


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.