Recruitment challenge help fires up demand for packaging equipment machinery


The continued challenge of recruitment in the warehouse sector is being helped by the booming market for equipment and machinery.

Southgate Global, one of Europe’s leading packaging suppliers is reporting sustained growth in demand for its portfolio of packaging equipment which covers mechanised case taping through to shrink wrapping, all which can help to increase productivity.

Southgate Global serves over 600 distributors across the UK and Europe, with customers specialising in warehousing and logistics.

The warehousing sector is experiencing record vacancies, felt most recently at a time of big growth in demand for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The ongoing shift to e-commerce from physical stores also means more manpower is much needed in warehouses. With the e-commerce boom showing no signs of slowing down and now accounting for more than one quarter of all retail sales in the UK[1], Southgate has seen its business in the sector grow substantially, which is why machinery and equipment is a big focus.

A multimillion-pound market, it has been reported[i] that the global packaging machinery sector is worth around USD 42.8 billion in 2020 and expected to grow (CAGR) by 4.1% between 2021 to 2028.

David Grantham, Head of Sales at Southgate Global commented: “In an increasingly competitive market, levels of automation within manufacturing, assembly and despatch can certainly help improve efficiencies, when pressures on the workforce continues to be a cause for concern.

“Case taping, stretch wrapping, shrink wrapping and strapping when automating is utilised can significantly increase productivity, improving throughput and quality with reduced manual handling as well as reducing material usage.

“The use and growth of new machinery has increased over the past decade and is expanding across numerous end-of-line processes, such as wrapping.”

This market growth has enabled Southgate to extend its portfolio of machinery and equipment, such as the new Xtegra Tegrabond Water Activated Tape Case Taper which launched recently.

Water activated tape (WAT), also known as gummed paper tape, is rapidly becoming the carton sealer of choice throughout the order fulfilment sector, with the world’s largest operations using it exclusively in favour of plastic tapes. As the need for sustainable solutions continues to grow in importance, WAT is only predicted to rise in demand.

As well as improving efficiencies, the majority of Southgate’s new machinery launches have been designed to offer a more sustainable solution. Environmental concerns have increased the requirement for lighter packaging materials. To facilitate this, equipment suppliers are leading ensuring the continued development of machines to help improve line speeds whilst adapting to the increased use of thinner packaging materials.

Southgate is committed to developing alternative products to significantly reduce packaging waste and plastic content. The company continues to expand its sustainable range whilst reducing plastic content and finding more sustainable alternatives whilst maintaining quality. Its focus on sustainability feeds into Southgate’s wider ambition to develop and promote the idea of a circular economy – inspiring businesses to embrace the global solution to eliminating waste.

Southgate has achieved a Silver EcoVadis rating, showcasing its focus on driving sustainability within its business and the wider industry. The rating recognises Southgate’s continued focus on cultivating innovative, eco-friendly packaging alternatives.

The pioneering packaging supplier is prioritising product innovation alongside investing in its people and brand to continue to drive business growth. This year, the company also featured for the first time in The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200. The listing ranks Britain’s mid-market private companies with the fastest growing international sales, measured over the last two years.