Interview with Tom Hallam on the future of e-commerce packaging

Interview with Tom Hallam on the future of e-commerce packaging

 We spoke with Tom Hallam, author of our latest report The Future of E-Commerce Packaging to 2027, about where he see the industry going across the next 5 years. 

Tom has 23 years of professional experience working for four multi-national companies including Reckitt and has since been delivering freelance projects via Brand Ethics consulting. He has since joined Smithers as Project Director for Packaging Consultancy.

Q: What are the most exciting e-commerce industry trends at the moment?

The emergence of paper mailing bags that can be used as a direct substitute for plastic mailing bags (‘polybags’), as well as the availability of new, organic materials (such as mycelium) to replace fossil fuel based plastics in the protective packaging sector. There has also been the launch of fully automated right-size box on demand machinery which is a big game-changer.

The growing importance of e-commerce (as a % of total retail) in highly populated markets such as India, Indonesia and Philippines and the growth of m-commerce (orders made via smartphones and tablets) are also something to keep your eye on.

Q: What do you see as future challenges?

There are certainly a few challenges the sector may face, including whether converters will invest at scale in new paper mailing bag machinery to drive this new market sector? Can the paper and corrugated board suppliers and box converters meet future demand forecasts? As well as whether there will be a lack of recycling infrastructure for flexible plastic mailing bags (‘polybags’)

Widespread regulation aimed at eliminating virgin plastic single-use packaging as well as economic uncertainty, slowing GDP growth and inflationary pressure the large European markets and China – reduced consumer disposable incomes.

Q: Finally what can readers expect from the latest report?

Readers will gain access to:

  • The identification of the key drivers and trends in e-commerce packaging
  • An in-depth analysis of the trends in e-commerce packaging over the last 5 years with forecasts through to 2027
  • Analysis of e-commerce packaging split by region, end use segment and packaging type
  • An overview of the latest machinery developments in relation to the various e-commerce packaging formats

Find out more

Download The Future of E-Commerce Packaging to 2027 brochure

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