Five Reasons Why the Corrugated Industry Is a Great Career Choice
(1) It's huge. Corrugated packaging is a $24.9 billion a year industry. Over 90% of all products in North America are delivered or displayed in corrugated at some point in their life cycle. It is an industry that will be here well into the next century, and beyond.
In 2010, the industry manufactured more than 357.3 billion square feet of material used to make boxes and displays. That's a 3.5 percent increase over 2009 production of packages that safely shipped and protected food, clothing and durable goods for delivery to millions of domestic and worldwide customers.
(2) It's everywhere. There are 1,257 corrugated manufacturing and design facilities promoting continuous innovation, competition and providing jobs and benefits to more than 70,000 employees in 1,065 cities and towns throughout the U.S. Diverse and challenging career opportunities are available for students graduating from architecture, business, engineering, environmental science, graphic design, packaging and technical schools. Potential job locations are a short commute in every U.S. metropolitan area.
(3) 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's 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.
(4) Corrugated is a "green", sustainable industry. Corrugated is the most recovered form of packaging, with 85.1percent of all containers produced being reclaimed for recycling in 2010. 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 46% 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. From 2000 to 2010 the amount of corrugated used to ship a unit of domestic industrial production decreased by 19 percent. 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.
(5) It's fast-paced and challenging, with lots of diverse careers. Positions are available for students graduating from packaging, graphic design, business, accounting, engineering, architecture/structural design, environmental science, and tech schools.
And it offers variety. For example on the on the design and 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.
Positions are available for students graduating from packaging, graphic communications or design, business, marketing & sales, engineering, supply chain management, environmental science, and tech schools.
“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