Companies in this industry make paper and converted paper products, including paperboard, corrugated and paperboard containers, coated papers, and paper bags. Major companies include Georgia-Pacific, International Paper, Kimberly-Clark, Neenah Paper, and WestRock (all based in the US), as well as Domtar (Canada), Oji Holdings (Japan), and Stora Enso (Finland).
Globally, the industry produces more than 400 million metric tons of paper products per year. China has surpassed the US as the world's top paper producer. Other key paper producing and exporting countries include Canada, Finland, Germany, Japan, and Sweden.
The US paper products manufacturing industry includes about 2,800 companies with combined annual revenue of about $185 billion.
Demand is driven by general commercial activity and population growth. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations, as products are sold mainly based on price. Big companies have advantages in distribution and can supply large customers. There are few economies of scale in manufacturing; large and small producers operate the same kinds of plants -- large producers just have more of them. Small companies can compete successfully by making specialty products or serving a small geographical market.
The industry is concentrated within specific product segments: the top 50 US makers of corrugated boxes account for 75% of segment revenue; the top 50 paperboard mills account for almost all of the revenue for that segment.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Corrugated and paperboard containers account for about 30% of industry revenue; other major...