Study on the state of the packaging, logistics and transport business sector

The main challenges that packaging, logistics and transport companies are currently facing on a daily basis are the lack of talent, the implementation of digitalisation and rising costs. This is the result of a study carried out by Empack and Logistics & Automation, with the aim of analysing the situation of the packaging, logistics and transport business sector in Spain.

Specifically, in the area of logistics, 39.7% of businessmen say that there is a lack of qualified talent in their market, while 31% of them point out that innovation and investment in new technologies is still a challenge facing their companies.

Of the packaging companies surveyed, 26.4% said that their main challenge was competition and market prices, while in second place were the cost of raw materials and finding qualified staff. As far as the transport sector is concerned, opinions are more unified. Some 66.7% of the entrepreneurs believe that digitalisation is still a subject that resists in their sector and for 33.3%, the increase in fuel costs is among their main concerns.

An optimistic end to the year for the industry

Despite the challenges facing the business sector and the recent blows to the global economy, 81.1% of the professionals surveyed plan to close this year with positive growth figures. Only 13.2% of the total expect to grow without achieving them.

Entrepreneurs also look favourably on expectations for improvement within the packaging, logistics and transport sectors. 55.8% of them believe that it will grow this year, compared to 34.4% who believe that it will remain stable. Only 2.6% of the companies consider the possibility of a decrease in the industry.

When asked about their strategy to combat rising expenses and financing costs, the vast majority of companies are committed to improving efficiency and optimising operations (76.8%), as well as reducing costs to boost the achievement of their annual objectives (25.8%).

Resistance to technological innovation

Industry professionals point out that there are some reservations about the implementation of new technologies in these three sectors. According to them, this is mainly due to generational resistance to change (33.2%), as well as the high costs involved in implementation (29.5%). However, a striking 20% note that there is still a lack of knowledge and business skills to implement them.

Regarding emerging technologies for their business activity, almost half of the companies in these sectors point to robotics and automation (46.8%) as the most relevant, compared to data analytics and artificial intelligence. In fact, only 17.4% say they already implement AI in their processes and 6.3% are working with the IoT (Internet of Things) within the industry.

However, the vast majority believe that the widespread implementation of robotics and artificial intelligence will be undisputed, as will the significant transformation they will bring to the sector. Primarily, the most commonly used robotic tools in industries are automated transport systems (28.4%), collaborative robots (26.3%), followed by robotic handling and packaging systems (26.3%).

When asked about the benefits that process automation has brought, the majority of companies are clear: it has led to increased efficiency and productivity. This is what 55.8% say. It is worth noting, on the other hand, that only 13.7% of respondents have not yet implemented it.

Investment in sustainability is growing


As far as investment in sustainability is concerned, it is an important factor for almost the entire industry (95.3%), although not everyone gives it the same degree of importance. 35.3% consider it to be one of their business priorities, while 26.3% of those surveyed dedicate the same amount of investment to it as to other areas. Likewise, 33.7%, although it is important, consider that there are other areas of investment with higher priority, such as digitalisation.


The role of trade fairs in meeting the challenges facing the industry


Finally, entrepreneurs were asked about their perception of industry trade fairs such as Empack and Logistics & Automation, the main trade fairs for the packaging, logistics and transport sector. Respondents highlighted that these trade fairs are a networking opportunity for their company to make new contacts and opportunities for collaboration, as well as a space where they can achieve greater visibility and carry out business actions. Three aspects of vital importance to face their main challenges and serve as a platform to support the industry.


Empack and Logistics & Automation will be held jointly in Madrid on 29 and 30 November. These fairs not only represent a meeting point for professionals and companies looking for innovations, technology and services to optimise their logistics and packaging processes, but also promote the visibility of brands to hundreds of decision-makers and purchasing managers. Attendees can register for free on the websites of both Empack and Logistics & Automation.


The event will feature exhibition areas and congress areas, which will host more than 200 expert speakers from the packaging, logistics and transport sectors; Live Tours, where they will have the opportunity to learn live about the latest innovations in the sector; and various awards ceremonies, including the Logistics Leaders Awards, organised by UNO Logística, the Talent and Logistics awards, organised by Foro de Logística, the Truck Friendly Movement awards and the travelling exhibition of the award-winning packaging from the last edition of the Pentawards. All this will take place in just two days, in halls 5 and 7 of IFEMA.

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