Plastic Crates Western Europe Market Intelligence

*This report was last updated in Q4 2018. Please click on request customization if you are looking for an updated version of this report

Report Coverage

  • Supplier Analysis
  • Cost Build-up – Plastic Crates
  • Supplier Engagement Model and KPI for Supplier Selection
  • Sourcing Alternatives Trade-Off

Production Size

Global Production Size/ Capacity

545 Mn Units


1-2 Percent

Table of contents

  1. Executive Summary
  1. Market Outlook on Crates
  1. Key Market Trends - Plastic Crates
  1. Key Product Innovations - Plastic Crates
  1. Porters Five Forces - Plastic Crates
  1. Supplier Analysis
  1. Cost Build-up - Plastic Crates
  1. Supplier Engagement Model & KPI for Supplier Selection
  1. Sourcing Alternatives Trade-Off

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Regional Market Outlook on Plastic Crates

What To Expect From The Cost Of Crates in H2 2018

  • The cost is expected to remain fairly stable in H2 2018 with a maximum fluctuation of 1-2%


Industry Best Practices–Supplier Engagement

  • The typical sourcing of beverage crates is done by directly engaging with beverage crate producers.
  • An internal team takes care of crates flow in the supply chain, maintenance, and repairs.
  • Pooling services are still in a nascent stage in beverage crates market
  • Typical contract length for crate sourcing is Short term. However, the term could be increased based on the willingness of the buyer and product customization involved
  • Local sourcing from is a generally followed practice in sourcing.

Market Outlook on Beverage Crates in Europe

The sluggish growth estimates of the key downstream markets (Beer & CSD) is expected to continue affecting growth of Beverage crates in the near term. However, growth in SKUs across beverage segments can considerably increase crates volumes in near term. The market growth is expected to be within 1-2% CAGR in 2017-2021

  • Beer segment is the major consumer of bottle crates in Europe owing to the strong presence of global(Heineken, Carlsberg, etc.) and regional brewers (Beck's, Bitburger, etc.). Coca-Cola is the clear leader in soft drinks segment
  • Schoeller Allibert is the largest RTP(Returnable Transit Packaging, including crates) manufacturer in Europe with over 25 percent share in the market
  • DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) in Europe consumes around 60 percent of beer crates and 80 percent soft drinks and water bottle crates in Europe; Germany being the largest consumer owing to favorable returnable packaging system and strong crate supply base
  • Schoeller Allibert is a clear market leader in beverage crates production in Europe, with an estimated 60-70% market share

Key Market Trends – Beverage Crates 

Although crates might be facing a threat of substitution from collation films and carton boxes, however, the strong preference of glass over plastic in majority of European market will continue to foster the demand for crates as a preferred form of transit packaging


  • Europe has one of the highest recollection rates of plastic globally. Owing to the strong reverse logistics and availability of regrind material, beverage crates producers are producing crates with high percentage of recycled/regrind material. An estimated 40 percent of crates in Europe use recycled plastics. Some players also produce beverage crates using 100 percent regrind material


  • Improved aesthetics of the beverage crates is a highly sought after trend in the industry. IML (In-Mould Labeling Process) is being utilized in decoration process to achieve photorealistic images, 3D prints, etc. which improves the visibility of the product on retail shelves and also acts as a marketing tool for the brand owners

Supply Chain Optimization

  • The beverage crates supply chain is generally managed by an internal logistics team of the brewer. However, pooling companies like CHEP, Logipack, etc., are venturing into beverage crates business by offering services like crate management, tracking, maintenance, etc. Logipack has also developed an innovative packaging system in order to accommodate diverse range of beer bottles in one crate


  • Beverage crates face a potential threat of substitution from collation shrink films in Europe driven by shift in material preference from glass to PET bottles

Porters Five Forces – Beverage Crates 

Schoeller Allibert will continue to dominate the beverage crates market in the foreseeable future, owing to its large scale production capacity coupled with long term relationships with leading beverage brands like AbinBev, Coca Cola, Heineken, Pepsi, etc.

Supplier Power

  • Suppliers of HDPE resin have low-medium bargaining strength with beverage crate manufacturers owing to commoditized nature of the product (PE resin) coupled with higher recollection/recycling rates of beverage crates
  • Europe is a net importer of PE, however, new capacities are being added to reduce the dependency on imports, this might help reduce local PE prices and act in favor of end -users

Barriers to New Entrants

  • High entry barrier is present in the market owing to the consolidated nature of the market
  • Large beverage producers with significant volume requirements are already engaged with top suppliers in the market like Schoeller Allibert, Delbrouck, Oberland MV, DW Plastics, etc.

Intensity of Rivalry

  • Intensity of rivalry is significantly high, but for convertors other than Schoeller Allibert (SA)
  • SA commands over 60 percent market share in beverage crates in Europe leaving other small to medium scale players competing for the rest 30-40% market

Threat of Substitutes

  • Paper cartons and collation shrink films are the two closest substitutes to plastic crates. General market trend of switching from glass to plastic drives the demand for these alternatives
  • Strong penetration of plastic crates in beer and CSD segment coupled with favorable returnable packaging system in Europe balances out the risk of substitution

Buyer Power

  • Large beverage producers like Heineken, AbinBev, Coca Cola, etc., have large annual contract volumes for crates which can help them obtain volume-based discounts
  • However, the consolidated nature of supply base might make it challenging for buyer to negotiate favorably with suppliers like Schoeller Allibert, DW Plastics & Delbrouck

Cost Build-up – Plastic Crates

Prices Forecasted from H2 2017 to H2 2018

  • Raw Material Cost: European HDPE prices are expected to witness marginal increase of 1-2% in H2 2018 compared to H2 2017. This could be attributed to the stable feedstock and restocking activities
  • Indirect Cost:Indirect cost is expected to witness a steady growth of around 1-2% in H2 2018

  • Utility Cost :Electricity prices are expected to remain stable in H2 -2018 compared to H2 2017 as the generation from wind energy drops then is expected to rise again in H2 2018, which could balance out the effect of change in supply on prices

  • Labor Cost :Labor cost is expected to witness around 4 percent rise in H2 2018 as against H2 2017 owing to the shortage in availability of skilled labor and increase in inflation rate


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