As one of Germany’s premier packaging events, Fachpack, prepares to open its doors next week, visitors from across Europe will be making their annual trip to Nuremberg to experience the very best of what the packaging industry has to offer.
For many of these visitors it won’t be their first packaging trade show on German soil. Several of Europe’s major industry exhibitions find their regular home in Deutschland – Fachpack and Interpack are just two examples.
It can’t be a coincidence that these unmissable events in the packaging professional’s calendar have a German base. Germany is a driving force in packaging; after all, some of the world’s biggest names in packaging hail from there. (Bosch Packaging Technology and Gerhard Schubert immediately spring to mind).
But why is Germany such a world giant in the packaging material and machinery sector? How has the country managed to compete against cheaper supplying countries and massive multinationals to remain at the forefront of the global packaging industry for decades, succeeding where others have failed?
Here are some factors I believe contribute to Germany’s dominance in the packaging industry:
- Machinery and equipment is the country’s second largest and most innovative sector. Food processing / packaging machinery is the fifth largest segment within this sector with a CAGR of +3.4%. As a result, it has major strategic importance to the country and benefits from significant financial investment
- Following on from this, the German packaging machinery sector makes specific investment in research and development to ensure it remains on the cutting edge of production technologies
- Germany has a strong domestic economy. This year, Germany has managed to buck the trend in Europe with 0.3% growth in the three months to the end of June, compared with the previous quarter
- Germany’s Packaging Valley. Established in 2007, this organisation was created to highlight the packaging capabilities and the unique concentration of packaging competence in a relatively small area of southern Germany. It promotes a proprietary brand for German packaging. Packaging Valley companies employ a workforce of approximately 7,000 and have an export rate of over 80%.
- The German people are eager for innovative packaging solutions. The German packaging industry responds to this and benefits as a result. Last year, for example, German packaging manufacturers experienced strong sales growth (8.3%) to hit a new record of €32.1 billion, according to figures from the Joint Committee of German Packaging Manufacturers.
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 Industry overview 2011 www.gtai.com
 Management Today Aug 2012