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MARKET Germany-headquartered Mauser remains confident of long-term IBC growth in spite of the jitters currently affecting the global economy as a whole, as the company’s CEO tells the Bulletin
Despite general economic volatility, Mauser continues to view the market for blow-moulded composite intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) positively. "On a long-term basis, we are seeing an increasing growth, which varies between one and three per cent per year," says CEO Hans-Peter Schaefer, explaining that these packagings "provide customers with a space-saving and economical method for the transportation and storage of hazardous and sensitive filling goods". IBCs, he continues, are also "ideal packaging solutions" in the context of reconditioning and recycling, something that he believes will only further increase their attractiveness over time. "We see a trend in sustainability-oriented services," Schaefer says. "Sustainability and environmental responsibility are crucial competitive factors for businesses and are becoming increasingly important for our customers."
While Mauser's "main focus is on the chemical and petrochemical industries", the company also addresses the needs of the agrochemical, pharmaceutical and food processing industries on a worldwide basis. Indeed, the company has now further expanded its already impressive global footprint with the opening of its first plant in Poland. Located in Gliwice, the facility will produce UN- and non-UN-approved SM6, SM13 and SM15 IBCs as well as UN-approved 120- and 150-litre open-top drums and UN-approved 220-litre L-Ring drums. With Mauser having to date supplied the Polish market from its plants in Germany, the new factory will enable it to better meet the needs of local customers as well as those in other central and eastern European (CEE) countries, such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic states.
Closer to the market
But it's not just in the CEE that the company has been busy. "We signed a reconditioning joint venture agreement with Bressan Inovações Ambientais in Brazil in April and expanded our capabilities in Turkey and Houston, Texas," Schaefer explains. "All of these investments are in line with our global ambition to be close to our customers in order to serve them in the best possible way."
"We offer an entire range of plastics packaging solutions and produce steel drums and fibre drums," he continues. "Furthermore, Mauser offers its customers a worldwide recollection service for all types of packaging, including packages of other manufacturers. With our subsidiary National Container Group (NCG), Mauser is present with numerous reconditioning sites and various partners around the globe. So, Mauser is able to offer the complete range of services – new packaging as well as remanufactured, reconditioned and cleaned solutions. And customers benefit from full-cycle services from a single source."
"Mauser’s success is due both to its comprehensive portfolio of high-quality industrial packaging solutions and services as well as its business model. Our approach is based on sustainability and the management of the complete packaging lifecycle. As a global player, Mauser is able to offer these full-cycle services around the globe," Schaefer states. "With our Eco-Cycle approach, based on the five pillars of Renew, Reduce, Recollect, Reuse and Recycle, customers are able to combine ecology and economy through advanced packaging solutions and to manage their product cycle in a sustainable way."
Looking to the future, Schaefer believes that such an approach will become increasingly important on the market. "More than ever," he says, "it will be important for manufacturers to offer reliable, high-quality products based on an individual and consistent sustainability-oriented business model. We see us well-positioned to meet these upcoming requirements. And even if the market is still influenced by the volatility of the general economic development, we expect a return to a normal level of economic growth."
Partner in Time
Founded in 1896, Bruehl-headquartered Mauser today commands annual revenues of around €1bn. Employing a staff of approximately 4,000 across 60 Mauser/NCG sites and multiple joint ventures in Europe, the Americas and Asia, the company also operates two licensee networks for plastics and steel packaging, MIPI® and Drumnet®, that boast members in more than 30 countries. Moreover, Mauser has now further strengthened its ongoing relationship with Indian drum and IBC producer Time Technoplast in a move aimed at creating a global network to better cater to the needs of key customers worldwide.
"The relationship between Time and Mauser goes back a long way," Schaefer says. "While Time Technoplast has very impressively developed its presence in Asia and in [the Middle East and North Africa], Mauser has achieved a strong position in North/South America and in Europe. Today the two companies have complementary presences and combine these to better serve customers. But the cooperation is not limited to this. We also cooperate in the field of technology and product development, where Time Technoplast has highly engineered and innovative solutions."
"The cooperation between Mauser and Time Technoplast," adds Time CEO Anil Jain, "is best positioned to help our customers overcome the challenges they face in the Asian market, enabling them to fully benefit from the potential that this region offers. Together with the Mauser Group we also cooperate in the field of reconditioning/life cycle management, where Mauser has been acting as a pioneer through its NCG network. We will also further develop our steel drum joint venture in India."
Table of Output from major composite IBC producers worldwide (PDF) below.