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Smithers predicts ‘post-COVID boom’ for packaging industry with track and trace | Article

According Smitherthe track-and-trace packaging industry is expected to reach a total value of $2.5 billion by 2027, with the company attributing the increase in demand and market value to the rise of e-commerce and counterfeiting issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In The Future of Track and Trace in Packaging to 2027Smithers says the total value of RFID tags, antennas and coding printing in packaging applications has grown 76% since 2017 and will reach $1.6 billion in 2022.

The company adds that this upward trajectory is expected to continue, forecasting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of +9.5% through 2027 for the track and trace packaging industry. By 2027, the Track and Trace Packaging Market will yield a total value of $2.5 billion.

Supply chain security has become a business priority during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has increased demand for smart packaging solutions, Smithers says. A recent report by Europol and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges in terms of counterfeit prevention, with the shift to e-commerce and the global rollout of the vaccination program requiring both proven and new solutions to protect consumers.

Smithers notes that traceability features, including item-level tracking, are already mandatory in many high-risk segments, such as pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The company says healthcare will remain the largest end-use market for track and trace solutions, with its value expected to double between 2021 and 2027.

Meanwhile, the company says concepts and technologies already established in industries like pharmaceuticals are increasingly being applied to other supply chains in an effort to boost safety and efficiency. Smithers anticipates rapid adoption of traceability technologies in several other consumer segments that ship perishable or valuable goods, including food, beverages and cosmetics.

Smithers adds that these industries will benefit from lower prices for individual marking components as these technologies are refined and commercialized. Companies such as Walmart are now widely adopting RFID for retail businesses, for example.

According to Smithers, industrial and transit packaging will remain the most lucrative element of the traceability market, as large packaging apparently justifies the cost of bespoke solutions such as active RFID tagging. As supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19 continue to be felt across industries, Smithers says smart packaging solutions that enable supply chain resilience and flexibility will continue to grow. develop.

In the near term, Smithers says the packaging track and trace market will continue to rely primarily on printed coding, such as unique alphanumeric identifiers, 1D barcodes, and 2D barcodes. The company also expects greater interest in integrated RFID and NFC frequency antennas to provide more dynamic monitoring in more expensive applications. Examples include Identiv, a global leader in digital security solutions, which worked with OTACA Tequila to provide an embedded NFC tag that allows consumers to authenticate and reorder the product.

On the other hand, hidden taggants are likely to be a popular option for brand owners concerned about counterfeiting, Smithers says. Earlier this year, Avery Dennison acquired TexTrace with the aim of expanding the use of textile RFID tags that remain on garments for their entire lifespan, either as sewn-in tags or integrated into the seam of garments. a product, which provides built-in protection against product loss.

Overall, Smithers says the greatest potential will come from software systems that process product identities, with blockchain emerging as an affordable and scalable platform that can provide security, transparency and intelligent inventory management. The company adds that software vendors are creating dedicated service lines to take advantage of this opportunity, and thus actively engaging with packaging and logistics partners.

Additionally, paperboard is likely to account for the largest share of the track-and-trace packaging market in the future, Smithers said. The company again attributes this to trends associated with COVID-19, including increased e-commerce shipments, as well as the longer-term trend for pharmaceuticals to adopt early traceability solutions.

Smithers concludes that there will also be strong demand for tracking components that can work with other common formats, including metal, rigid plastic, flexible plastic and paper substrates.