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).
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.
Products, Operations & Technology
Corrugated and paperboard containers account for about 30% of industry revenue; other major products include paperboard (15%), bags and coated and treated paper (10%), and sanitary paper products (5%). Tens of thousands of different paper products are produced, but most manufacturers concentrate on a limited product line.