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How COVID-19 Impacted on Active, Smart & Intelligent Packaging in Chemicals & Materials Industry ?


The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the whole planet with its major impacts on the economy and businesses across the globe. The COVID-19 spread worldwide in unprecedented ways due to its high infectious and contagious nature and lack of availability of its vaccine. As a result, the greatest medical challenge in the 21st century is yet to be faced by physicians worldwide. Though the emergence of the virus can be traced back to Asia, many European countries along with the U.S. have been struck massively by the pandemic. The virus has spread across all regions ranging from North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa up to South America. The COVID-19 has been declared as a pandemic by World Health Organization (WHO) due to its increased spread across the globe. After the declaration of the pandemic, various countries announced the complete lockdown such as India, China, and other Asian countries to decrease its spread. According to the latest situation report by World Health Organization (WHO) stated 175 million cases of Corona have been reported globally and 4 million patients are dead due to the coronavirus. On a slightly positive note, a total of 158 million people have recovered and a total of 2 million vaccine doses have been administered as well.
Manufacturers mostly utilize active, smart, and intelligent packaging to preserve the nutritional content and freshness of their products. This worldwide trade is driven by sophisticated and improved transportation infrastructure that allows items to be moved from one location to another without damage. External factors, such as air and temperature, do not affect the real operation of active packaging, which is referred to as product packaging.
However, the spread of COVID-19 is an unprecedented worldwide public health crisis that has impacted nearly every business, and its long-term consequences are expected to have an influence on industry growth throughout the projection period. COVID-19 has resulted in changes in consumer behaviour and demand, purchasing patterns, supply chain rerouting, current market dynamics, and substantial government engagement. Economic insecurity caused by the pandemic had also triggered the investors in both public and private sectors to reconsider the

STRATEGIC DECISIONS FOR MANUFACTURERS AFTER COVID-19 TO GAIN COMPETITIVE MARKET SHARE

The manufacturing sector of smart packaging materials was one of the most damaged sectors by COVID-19. The new Coronavirus developed in China, which is home to the vast majority of facilities supplying raw materials to various production units across the world. Several steps were taken to increase international cooperation among the countries to promote investments and also to improve the ease of doing business inside the nations. Also, various relief measures were provided for manufacturers in the packaging industry. New and existing projects were given a kick start by inviting technological innovations supported by the government.
For instance,
§ Rapid industrialization and urbanization in India, China, and other Asian nations, together with the adoption of smart and energy-efficient technologies used for packaging purposes, have a favourable impact on active, smart and intelligent packaging market demand
investment decisions in terms of taking up new construction-based projects.

AFTERMATH OF COVID-19 AND GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE TO BOOST THE GLOBAL ACTIVE, SMART AND INTELLIGENT PACKAGING MARKET

The government had taken many steps to ensure the availability of raw materials by keeping track of the supply and demand of the intermediate goods for producing packaging materials. Alongside, the government of various countries is also taking action like providing subsidies for raw materials, supporting the domestic producers with short-term loans to assist SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and local manufacturers engaged in the production of smart and active packaging boxes, and cartons.
For instance,
The Government of India intends to construct green infrastructure for the e-commerce sector to balance environmental efficiency with energy conservation, fuelling the demand for smart and active packaging materials

IMPACT ON DEMAND

The major sectors of the packaging market are the food industry and e-commerce business, as a major part of the demand for packaging, boxes come from these units. The restaurant and hotel sector was one of the sectors that suffered the burden of COVID-19. The demand for restaurant foods was likewise sluggish, as people were mainly prioritizing the health requirements over any other requirements. Furthermore, the emergence of remote-based work facilities had reduced the need for office buildings along with its canteen foods and hence affecting the global active, smart and intelligent packaging market.

IMPACT ON PRICE

The worldwide active, smart, and intelligent packaging market is extremely fragmented, with several small and big competitors competing on price and quality. Due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for packaging materials had seen a severe downfall since May 2020, resulting in the fluctuation of the prices of raw materials used for making smart boxes and containers. The rise in prices of basic materials caused by the pandemic, as well as a scarcity of stock with wholesalers, had posed a problem for many small and large-scale projects, affecting the global active, smart and intelligent packaging market.

IMPACT ON SUPPLY CHAIN

The global coronavirus pandemic had put the contemporary global supply chain to the test like never before. The pandemic had a genuinely global impact, causing many fractures in numerous supply chains like component suppliers, production locations, and in the last mile to the end-users. The production process came to a pause due to the shortage of laborers in almost all the manufacturing sites. Due to a ban on interstate travel, the supply chain also suffered as a result of the emigration of migrant workers. The shutdown of distribution and trade routes has affected the supply channel, resulting in the rise of the operating costs of raw materials. During that situation, all the manufacturers of road marking materials were facing issues with the timely availability of raw materials.

CONCLUSION

Pandemic has taken a toll on every aspect of life, including the global economy. With the significant downfalls in many sectors, a collaborative effort of government, industry players, and consumers can win the fight against COVID-19.
It continues to inflict the world with appalling economic and social dilemmas, capable enough to leave severe backlash on the economy for the next several years. The first wave had already inflicted severe blows to the population as well as the economy. The currently experiencing the second wave is expected to be more disastrous not only to the masses but also to CnM markets.
Active, smart, and intelligent packaging boxes are widely utilized in the food sector and e-commerce sector due to their numerous applications, varying from the packing of food and different goods in the container for transportation. The COVID-19 pandemic had caused substantial obstacles to global supply chains. Due to a dip in restaurant activities, the demand for packaging materials had faced a sharp decline in many regions. Repeated nationwide curfews and shutdowns continue to hamper or even halt the movement of raw materials and completed goods, causing manufacturers to suffer. Manufacturing and distribution issues were likely the most visible disturbances to all types of chemical markets.
However, the government of various countries had opted for various policies to strengthen international partnerships, diversification of suppliers, and innovation for reducing the need for certain resources, and circular economy techniques to boost economic activities of the entire world.
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