In an era where globalization perpetually extends the frontiers of international business, a company's ability to have their products reach markets in developing, or even remote, locations has become an increasingly important factor for success in global markets. Statistics support this claim, seeing as the share of gross domestic product as a percentage of the international market in 2012 has clearly shifted from developed countries to nations just emerging in the global economy. This trend has resulted from the growing middle classes of third-world economies having the ability to purchase goods for a higher quality of life, such as safe food, clean water, and secure pharmaceuticals. The astounding international demand for consumer goods has elevated the packaging industry to deliver these goods in frontier markets, while simultaneously trying to reduce their environmental impact during this time of expansion.
When transporting packages in countries with low level of infrastructure, supply chain studies have shown that the cheapest package is rarely the most effective when all the aspects of packaging are considered. Low quality packaging threatens to increase damage and waste to products along a supply chain that could experience harsh conditions in developing countries, such as poor road quality, out-of-date technology, weather, and humidity. To overcome this obstacles, packaging industries have taken steps to adapt their products and modes of transportation to meet their surrounding environments, including the addition of steel-leaf spring suspension systems to trucks from developed countries. In countries where demand for foreign goods is high but infrastructure is low, like China and India, packages have been fitted with moisture resistance and additional material to cushion or coat secondary packages to overcome long periods of exposure to weather, temperature, and humidity.
Since the packaging industry is now delivering packages in remote and environmentally fragile locations, there is also a call to reduce the industry's carbon footprint which has proved to be beneficial in attracting foreign business and saving money. Studies have shown that reducing the weight in shipping platforms have driven waste out of the global supply chain for both manufacturers and retailers, lowered transport costs, reduced production downtime, diminished product damage, and even decreased worker injuries. The rising importance of environmental sustainability has also lead to increased demand for packages made with biodegradable material. Packages have "gone green" by using fibrous blocking materials, like corrugated inserts, to improve packaging rather than Styrofoam, which has proved to be hazardous to the environment. All in all, the packaging industry has experienced a surge of demand recently as consumer in developing markets now have the means of purchasing foreign goods, and firms continue to take strides to deliver these goods in the most efficient, safest, and greenest ways possible.