Why Corrugated?

The corrugated industry is a great career choice!  Check out five reasons why below.

  1. The industry is large. Corrugated packaging and display is a $35.2 billion a year industry that is vital to U.S. distribution systems. It is the most frequently used shipping material because it is cost-effective, lightweight, functional and versatile. Over 90% of all products in North America are delivered or displayed in corrugated packaging at some point in their life cycle.

    In 2019, the industry manufactured 393 billion square feet of material used to make boxes and displays. This equated to 39 billion packages that safely shipped and protected food, clothing and durable goods for delivery to millions of domestic and worldwide customers.

  2. Employment opportunities are everywhere.There are over 1,153 corrugated manufacturing and design facilities promoting continuous innovation, competition and providing jobs and benefits to more than 100,000 employees in nearly 1,000 cities and towns throughout the U.S. Diverse and challenging career opportunities are available for students with packaging, graphic design, business, engineering, environmental science, supply chain management, technical or related degrees. For more on careers, visit www.careersincorrugated.org.

  3. Corrugated Packaging is a “Sustainable” Industry. Corrugated is the most recovered form of packaging, with 92% percent of all containers produced being reclaimed for recycling in 2019. And that’s what happens after it has been used and reused several times to store and move items around the home, retailer and office. Old corrugated containers are bundled and sold back to the manufacturers to make the next generation of corrugated packages. In fact, the average box consists of 50% recycled fiber.

    In addition, the forest products industry plants twice as many trees as are harvested on an annual basis. There are 1.7 million new trees planted every day, contributing to the long-term viability of North American forests, preserving wildlife habitats, sequestering carbon dioxide and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions.

    Less Is More. Manufacturers have learned to make stronger packaging using less raw materials. Environmentalists call this source reduction - using less raw materials and generating less waste at the source.

    The corrugated packaging industry practices continuous source reduction. Between 2000 and 2019 the amount of corrugated required to ship a unit of industrial production has declined by 15%. Corrugated manufacturers have contributed significantly to this reduction by designing more efficient packages, stronger papers and improving converting processes at the design and manufacturing facilities.

  4. Corrugated is the single most dominant force in the packaging world. It is vital to distribution systems in the US. It is sourced by businesses and is the most frequently used shipping material because it is cost-effective, lightweight, functional, innovative, versatile and sustainable.

    Corrugated packaging is economically viable. One of the least expensive containers ever developed, the overall cost of corrugated shipping containers is usually between one percent and four percent of the value of the goods carried. Its use contributes to more cost-efficient and fuel-efficient packaging of products from point of origin to point of sale and end use.

    The ultimate contribution to cost reduction is when corrugated is used as an all- in-one shipping, storage, advertising and display medium - a growing trend both in warehouse and other retail stores.

  5. The corrugated packaging and display industry offers an exciting, challenging, fast paced career. Positions are available for students graduating from packaging, graphic communications or design, business, marketing & sales, engineering, supply chain management, environmental science, and tech schools.

    And a career in the industry offers variety.  For example on the design, business, sales or manufacturing side, you may work on a package for Nike one day and Revlon the next. Corrugated packaging is the final answer for just about every type of packaging need. It's durable, versatile, lightweight, innovative, and cost-effective.

    These are the reasons that a career in corrugated is so exciting.  Corrugated offers tremendous creative challenges that put the industry on the cutting edge of the possible in meeting customer's packaging and display needs.  A graphic example of this is the hotly competitive retail market.  Corrugated has excelled in being "in your face" - grabbing consumer attention and selling product.  And it does this with no marketing or advertising support.  Studies have shown that consumers respond more to the package than they do to the brand.  That's power.  And that's corrugated in today's global market.  

    "The best part about my job is the creative side of it...the ability to take on a client's request and implement that request into a three-dimensional solution that will merchandise their product." - Bill Glassen, Senior Designer, Great Northern Corp.

    "It's a stable industry; it's always going to be there and I think it's always going to be developing and creating greater, more exciting opportunities for people coming into the field." - Mike Cindrich, Design Manager, McDonald Packaging

Get Started With a Career in Corrugated Packaging & Displays Today!
Entry level positions are available for new graduates with packaging, graphic design, business, engineering, environmental science, supply chain management, technical or related degrees. 

Visit www.careersincorrugated.org for more on careers, to post your resume, and apply directly for full time job openings and student internships that are posted on ICPF's career portal.   

To join ICPF's corrugated packaging & displays career social network e-mail info@icpfbox.org today!