Impact of the Booming E-commerce Business on the Hot Melt Adhesives Tapes Market

Impact of the Booming E-commerce Business on the Hot Melt Adhesives Tapes Market

By Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence Thought Articles

The hot melt adhesive tape market was valued at US$33.532 billion in 2020 and will increase to US$22.145 billion by 2027. Over the forecast period, this market is estimated to grow at a compound yearly growth rate of 6.11%.

Hot-melt adhesives are thermoplastic polymer-based formulations that are normally 100 percent solid. They are utilized in a variety of industries for a variety of purposes in both the commercial and residential sectors. Food packaging, woodworking, product assembly, labeling, children's toys, and arts and crafts all use hot melts. Hot melts are developed by using numerous thermoplastics like ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) for general purpose bonding, styrene block copolymers (SBC) for lower thermal flexibility, polyolefins for difficult-to-bond plastics, high elongation and enhanced heat resistance, reactive urethanes and silicones for elevated temperature and/or high flexibility requirements, and polyamides for severe environments. Additionally, materials like tackifying resins, plasticizers, waxes, oils, fillers, and antioxidants are commonly mixed with these thermoplastics to improve adhesive performance. Hot melt adhesive tapes are developed in three layers: a film layer, a special release coat that allows the tape to easily unwind off the roll, and a strong adhesive layer. When applied, hot melt adhesive tapes form strong and continuous bonds, facilitating the secure packaging of heavier packages. 

During the projected period, the increasing demand for the packaging segment and the burgeoning e-commerce industry are anticipated to propel the growth.

Changing trends, growing population, and increased production could be said to be synonymous with enhanced packaging industry and adhesives. The onset of the pandemic has further accelerated this trend. Owing to the self-quarantine and social distancing measures, consumers began to drift towards online shopping. According to the United States Department of Commerce, digital spending in the e-commerce segment increased by 14.2% in 2021. Reportedly, the consumers had spent about US$ 8780.68 billion on online shopping, compared to US$762.68 billion in the former year. Similarly, according to the Office for National Statistics, internet sales in 2020 increased by 72.7 percent in the UK. Also, according to the Canadian Internet use survey conducted by Statistics Canada, 82 percent of Canadians shopped online in 2020, spending about $84.4 billion on digital shopping. The growing e-commerce and packaging industry is bound to propel the demand for hot-melt adhesives and other adhesives for corrugated box building and packaging materials. At the same time, the presence of many global packaging key players like Amcor, Oji Holdings, WestRock, International Paper Company, and Crown Holdings, among many others, is further supplementing the market growth. 

During the forecast period, Asia Pacific is likely to account for a considerable proportion of the global hot melt adhesive tapes market.  

The global hot melt adhesive tape market landscape has been divided into five regions: Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, South America, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa. During the projected period, the Asia Pacific market is expected to hold a significant market share owing to the rapidly developing economies in the countries like China, India, Australia, South Korea, and Japan in the regions. The 989 million internet users in China, as reported by China Internet Network Information Centre, and the 782 million online shoppers in 2020, two times more than the US population, are expected to drive the hot melt adhesive tape market in the region. At the same time, according to Australia Post, online shopping in Australia grew by 20.9 percent YOY in 2021. The increasing economies, improved lifestyles, changing trends, and increased spending is adding impetus to market growth. The rapidly evolving automation and consumer electronics are further expected to propel market growth. For instance, according to OICA, the International Organisation for Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, Asia Pacific alone produced 46,732,785 motor vehicle units in 2021 of the 80,145,988 units produced globally.

The eco-friendly alternatives available in the market are anticipated to hamper the market growth.

Though hot-melt adhesives offer a wide variety of pros, they are not without cons. Hot melt adhesives are not biodegradable, for their base materials are formulated by various chemicals or are synthetically produced. Most of the hot glues are formulated by non-biodegradable polymers, including polyolefin, EVA, or polyurethane. Multiple governments and enterprises have been shifting their attention towards environmentally friendly and sustainable polymers in recent years. The announcement of the European Green Deal in December 2019 is a prime example of this and is a reflection of the EU's goals to attain a better and sustainable future for all. And the primary goal of this initiative is to transform Europe into a climate-neutral region by 2050. According to the European Adhesive Tape Association, adhesive tapes are estimated to be the hidden drivers of the industry to attain climate neutrality. Subsequently, the drive for greener products has taken root in every industry imaginable, including glue manufacture. One area that has a big environmental impact is the packaging, as they are constantly produced by multiple intermediate suppliers in the supply chains of every industry. And, given the importance of packaging as an application for adhesives, it's an issue worth exploring further. According to the statistics derived by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), food and food packaging materials account for about half of municipal solid trash, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Lowering the overall solvent concentration and improving cross-linking, and reducing the amount of solvent and airborne particles emitted by the adhesive are two factors that need to be considered when formulating eco-friendly adhesives. A few examples of such adhesives include starch adhesives, dextrin adhesives, and gelatin-based adhesives, among many others. 

COVID-19 Insights            

The global pandemic had significantly cooled down the sales of the global hot-melt adhesive tape market. Due to the rapidly spreading pathogenic virus, multiple governments have enforced stringent lockdown and social distancing measures across the globe. This led to the closure of numerous production facilities among significant industries. This slowed down the packaging segment market as well, decreasing the demand for hot melt adhesives as tapes. Additionally, the travel restrictions, halt in airlines, and closure of the ports has negatively affected the imports and exports, disrupting the supply and demand gap. For instance, the slacking demand among automation, consumer electronics, and other industries had a negative impact on the packaging industry. Nevertheless, as the markets are returning to normalcy and recovering from the impact, the hot melt adhesive tape market is anticipated to witness a rise in demand.