Urbanization and Reusables: What Does the Future Portend?

Urbanization isn’t new, but it is sweeping the world, and it represents one of the most important world trends. Will it have an impact on reusable packaging and pallets? Or will reusables within our existing product mix continue to provide best value.

Certainly products such as the Container Centralen Low-Noise, or the Pally, for example, seem to be targeted at an increasingly urban world, as do small footprint pallets from providers such as LPR and IPP Logipal. Beyond that, issues such as theft of empty reusables continue to be an ongoing issue, demanding more secure storage, or perhaps a more innovative solution that will be next week’s big story.

Whether logistician or provider, we welcome your viewpoint. And with this in mind, we offer the following feature that introduces the broader trend of urbanization, reprinted with permission from Trendwatching.

February 2011
reusable packaging urban strategy



  • If it wasn’t for China (43%), Africa (33%) and India (29%), the world would already be significantly more urbanized than the 50.5% it is today. (Source: CIA The World Factbook, 2010.) And China, Africa and India are all set for immense urbanization in the next few decades to come.
  • Close to 180,000 people move into cities daily, adding roughly 60 million new urban dwellers each year. (Source: Intuit, October 2010.)
  • By 2050, the global urban population is expected to be 6.3 billion, or 70% of the population at that time. (Source: UN, 2009.)
  • By 2030, China will have an urban population of 1 billion, and India 590 million. Currently, Europe’s urban population is 533 million. (Source: McKinsey forecast & UN data, 2009-10.)
  • By 2030, China will have 221 cities with more than 1 million people, and India will have 68. In 2010, Europe has 35. During this period, 400 million Chinese and 215 million Indian will move to urban areas, more than the population of the US and Brazil combined. (Source: Foreign Policy, August 2010.)
  • One more nugget: In January 2011, Chinese city planners proposed merging the nine cities around the Pearl River Delta into a single metropolitan area, containing some 42 million people: more than Argentina, and covering an area 26 times bigger than Greater London. (Source: Reuters, January 2011.)

The big difference between tomorrow’s urban world and today’s? There will be more cities, some of which will be both newer and bigger than ever. So, while ‘traditional’ global powerhouses such as New York, London and Paris are already sharing the stage with Beijing, Mumbai and Istanbul, increasingly cities such as Belem, Chongqing and Guadalajara are ready to make their mark.
















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