Paper Sourcing on the Rise as Security Paper Sees Steady Growth


This Thomas Index Report is sponsored by Papertec, a leading converter and distributor of specialty papers, films, and boards.

Hello. In this week’s Thomas Index Report, we’re going to take a look at sourcing activity for Paper by users of the platform. Our data shows that over the past 12 weeks, sourcing activity for this category is up 26% over its historical average. It’s also up 7% year over year.

Our firmographic buyer data shows that three of the top industries driving this trend are media & entertainment, general business services, and government.

Back in 1978, during the relatively early days of the personal computer revolution, a man named Frederick Lancaster predicted a “paperless society,” in which all paper communication would be replaced by electronic communication and storage. Since that prediction, worldwide consumption of paper has risen by 400% according to Green America.

Clearly, paper — in its tremendously broad range of forms — isn’t going away soon. One specific and interesting type of paper to keep an eye on in the near term is Security Paper, which, according to Technavio, is a market that will have a combined annual growth rate of nearly 3% by 2022. Security Paper is used for everything from personal and business checks, stock certificates and sensitive government-issued documents to coupons, event tickets, and more.

And, of course, it’s used to make banknotes — or cash — and governments around the world continue to print plenty of it. And believe it or not, cash is still king when it comes to consumer spending. According to research by, despite the growth of payment options such as debit cards, credit cards, wire transfers, PayPal, and cryptocurrency, cold hard cash was still the most used method of payment by U.S. consumers in 2018.

Back to the broader overall category of Paper, continued growth is expected; Moody’s predicts that production of paper and paperboard will reach 490 million tons by 2020, up from 411 million tons in 2016.

Moving on from Paper, here’s a look at the top 10 industrial product and service categories being sourced on the platform over the past four weeks. 

  1. Steel
  2. Printed Circuit Boards (PCB)
  3. Food Products
  4. CNC Machining
  5. Packaging
  6. Injection Molded Plastics
  7. Plastic Bottles
  8. Corrugated Boxes
  9. Tube Fabrication & Bending Services
  10. Non-Destructive Testing Services

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Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next week.

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