Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Ups and Downs of 55 Gallon Drums

August 6th, 2019 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

At Skolnik, we keep a keen eye on the packing industry. We always want to know how certain products and solutions are performing over the years, as it can greatly affect our own business, but also the business of our customers. Studying these trends we can learn more customer’s growing and evolving needs and how we can better support them. In particular, we like to keep an eye on the industry trends regarding the longstanding, most popular industrial container, the 55 Gallon Barrel.

The Reusable Industrial Packaging Association conducts regular surveys of industry trends and statistics. One item of interest for both RIPA and Skolnik, is the production and reconditioning of 55 Gallon Barrels. Since the early nineties, production and reconditioning of 55 gallon steel barrels in the United States has slowly decreased over time. Whereas the production and reconditioning of plastic barrels in a similar time-span has seen a net increase in production. In addition, when looking at steel barrels, you can see that more are reconditioned than newly produced, and, once again, the plastic barrels are in the complete opposite  situation, seeing more new production than reconditioning.

We will always be making our 55 Gallon Drums, they are one of our most popular items and incredibly versatile. Although the study does not offer any guesses as to the causes behind these trends, we can make a few. Namely that steel drums, especially Skolnik steel drums are manufactured thicker, heavier and stronger than standard plastic drums. Furthermore, steel is more easily sanitized and reconditioned than plastic. No matter what the trends say, we will always make our 55 gallon drums, they are an incredibly versatile and popular sized product. 

It is still interesting to see these very clear trends and preferences in the market. One might expect the production of something like 55 Gallon Barrels to be a consistent number, but to see that there are actual ups and downs gives us valuable insight into our customers needs.  No matter the need though, Skolnik is here to produce high quality 55 gallon barrels you can trust.

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