Uline Competitors and Alternatives Analysis

Uline is one of the most important suppliers of shipping and warehouse products in the United States.

Uline is a wholesaler specializing in shipping and warehousing goods, and its headquarters are located in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.

Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein began selling carton sizers in the basement of their home in 1980.

Did you know that in the beginning, they ran their business out of their basement, which is also where they marketed the H-101 carton sizer?

They had amassed a sizeable wealth thanks to their Schiltz inheritance, all of which was invested in the growth of Uline.

The Uihleins’ time spent working out of their basement was fairly brief, and in the late 1980s and early 1990s, they experienced significant growth, expanding their operations to New Jersey, Minnesota, and California.

Uline underwent significant growth throughout the 1980s and 1990s, positioning it as one of the leading industrial supplies distributors in the United States.

Uline has hired 2,207 new employees since 2021, and approximately 100 warehouse associates were hired in January 2022.

Uline Competitors and Alternatives Analysis

Through the efforts of this recruitment drive, it has increased its staff to over 7000 people. The year 2021 saw Uline generate total revenue of $5.8 billion.

After a few more years, Uline expanded its operations internationally and began serving significant clients in Canada and Mexico shortly after the turn of the millennium. 

Additionally, the number of products they offer increased dramatically, going from 4,000 to more than 17,000!

Company NameUline
Year Founded1980
HeadquarterPleasant Prairie, WI, US
Type of CompanyPrivate
WebsiteVisit Website

Through its 11 distribution centers located in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, Uline provides access to more than 17,000 shipping and warehouse items.

These distribution centers are placed in such a way as to enable prompt delivery to various cities and towns across North America.

Since they began supplying H-101 carton sizers, Uline has expanded tremendously, and they now have over 7000 employees working for the company.

They also offer warehousing equipment, packaging materials, and cleaning supplies in addition to shipping products.

Recently, Uline relocated its headquarters from Illinois to Wisconsin. This move was partially motivated by Richard’s parents, formerly called Wisconsin home.

Uline took advantage of this move by the governor’s commitment of $6 million in hopes of hiring more state residents.

It has expanded its portfolio to include janitorial supplies, packaging materials, shipping products, and warehouse equipment.

Uline is well on its way to achieving its goals, but the political engagement of its founders places a cloud over the company’s future.

Richard Uihlein sent millions of dollars to far-right activist groups in 2020, according to an investigation of the uprising on January 6th.

And, after a few years of hard work, Uline successfully employed over 800 residents in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin!

The corporation’s annual income is close to $6 billion, and they are preparing for another huge growth.

Given its achievements, is there another company that provides shipping supplies that could compete with Uline?

Top Uline Competitors and Alternatives Analysis

Veritiv

Veritiv Corporation offers services similar to Uline’s. The company provides packaging supplies to various businesses throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. 

These two organizations are directly competing because their revenue scales are nearly identical.

Veritiv was established as a result of a combination between the xpedx section of the International Paper Company, the largest supply company in the world, and the Unisource Worldwide business. This is an intriguing fact.

Veritiv quickly caught up to Uline even though it was formed so much later in 2014! This is a significant portion of the reason why!

Veritiv is a one-stop shop for all things related to packaging, including hygienic products, supplies, services, and solutions.

Veritiv is a Fortune 500 firm that was established after the xpedx subsidiary of IPC and Unisource Worldwide merged to form a new company.

The year 2021 saw a rise of 8% in Veritiv’s net revenues, which brought the total to $6.9 billion. The company employs approximately 6,400 people.

One more interesting tidbit regarding Veritiv is presented for your perusal and consideration. The name Mary Laschinger—does it sound familiar to you?

If you live in Georgia after the year 2016, there is a chance that you have heard something about her. This is because she was placed right at the top of the list of the largest enterprises in the state that women run. Veritiv was the corporation’s name where she served as the chief executive officer.

Businesses in the United States of America, Canada, and Mexico can purchase packaging supplies from Veritiv and Uline.

In addition to this, however, Veritiv offers goods related to printing and publishing and logistics and supply chain management services.

Its distribution centers in North America serve clients located around the globe throughout a variety of industries. Veritiv is the most significant rival to Uline and its other products and services.

International Paper Company

International Paper manufactures the most pulp and paper in the world. There are 200 packaging plants in the corporation, 18 recycling facilities, and 28 pulp and paper mills.

The International Paper Company is the most powerful and influential company operating in the pulp and paper industry. Its primary products are pulp and paper.

International Paper was founded by combining 17 different businesses involved in the paper business in 1898.

International Paper is a multinational paper and packaging company that employs nearly 56,000 people and has a revenue of slightly more than $20 billion each year.

Uline Competitors and Alternatives Analysis

International Paper employed around 32,800 people in 2021, and the company’s revenue was recorded at $19.36 billion. Its revenue climbed by around $1.8 billion, a 10% rise over the previous year.

It is possible to purchase products made of fiber, such as those produced by International Paper, to replace Uline’s products.

In addition to coated printing paper, the company produces writing and uncoated paper. International Paper and Uline have a significant amount of their business concentrated in the North American market.

However, International Paper also provides services to clients in over one hundred fifty countries throughout the world and expects to sell 18 million tons of industrial packaging materials in 2021. Regarding supplies for packaging, International Paper is the greatest alternative to Uline.

International Paper is now the market’s largest seller of shipping items, making it Uline’s ideal competitor. However, doing so would be inappropriate and unfair.

International Paper is present in approximately 150 countries, but Uline is only present in a handful of them. This gives International Paper a significantly greater global reach than Uline. 

In addition, it has over 12 distinct main subsidiaries under its umbrella, further separating it from the competition.

Berlin Packaging

The Berlin Packaging Company is another big supplier of shipping materials. Berlin Packaging and Veritiv were the two companies we considered for the position of our company’s largest competitor.

However, we chose the latter option because the former caters to a more comprehensive spectrum of business sectors. 

Berlin Packaging has a longer and more illustrious history than the two competitors discussed earlier.

It can trace its origins back to 1898, when Riekes Container was established. This company was then acquired by Alco Packaging, which was later acquired by Berlin Packaging!

Berlin Packaging offers both shipping and packaging products. The company has acquired 19 businesses since 2016, increasing its global reach in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

In 2021, Berlin Packaging had over 1000 employees and revenue greater than $1 billion.

Berlin Packaging evolved into the firm today due to making several further advantageous acquisitions throughout its history.

Its annual sales are more than one billion dollars, and it has more than one thousand people working for it, so it is undeniably the underdog in the competition to become the most successful shipping supply company in the United States.

In addition to supplying billions of goods each year, Berlin Packaging also offers worldwide package design, financing, and shipping services.

The acquisition of Premi, a company that makes packaging for companies that sell cosmetics and beauty products, took place in January of 2022.

Most enterprises in this industry are involved in the packaging product trade; together, they make up a sub-niche within the industrial supplies unit. 

In addition, Berlin Packaging is undeniably one of the most successful companies operating in this sub-niche.

Their costs are comparable to those of other businesses in the industry, and their products are on par with the best in their field.

You have the appropriate combination of ingredients to compete head-on with companies like Uline and Veritiv if you add to that the number of different industry sectors they cover, including but not limited to industrial, coating, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical.

WestRock

WestRock makes paper and packaging similar to International Paper in the United States and is the second largest paper and packaging manufacturer behind International Paper.

WestRock is yet another big player in the paper and packaging industry, and it is only second to International Paper in terms of market share.

MeadWestvaco and RockTenn established WestRock not too long ago (in 2015), and the company has only been around since then.

Uline Competitors and Alternatives Analysis

WestRock easily established itself in the industry because these two companies were already considered the best.

In 2015, MeadWestvaco and RockTenn merged to form the company that would later be known as WestRock. 

WestRock accomplished record-breaking net sales of $18.7 billion in 2021, a 7% increase from the company’s fiscal 2020 net sales of $17.6 billion.

WestRock offers corrugated packaging as well as consumer packaging. These products include containerboards, coated recycled board (CRB), and shipping cardboard boxes. The company is a producer of environmentally friendly packaging.

The Paperboard Packaging Council presented WestRock with its Sustainability Award in 2021. One of Uline’s most significant rivals is WestRock, which has around 51,100 workers on its payroll.

Have you ever encountered cardboard boxes? That is the purpose of this packaging, made of corrugated cardboard. These are the only kinds of shipping boxes that WestRock carries in its inventory.

WestRock headquarters are in Sandy Springs, Georgia, employing over 50,000 people worldwide and generating nearly $15 billion in revenue each year.

Pollock Paper

The Pollock Paper company, also known as Pollock Orora, was established in 1918. The company has continued to grow ever since!

They not only provide shipping and packaging goods, but they also offer one-of-a-kind solutions to the companies that are their customers. This helps them stand out among competitors in the industry.

Pollock provides everything a business might need, from personalized one-on-one counseling to brisk and cordial customer service.

The provision of facility solutions for a wide variety of different types of industries is Pollock’s primary area of expertise. The shipment of various packaging products is a significant component of it.

Pollock Paper has its headquarters in Grand Prairie, Texas, and has lower revenue than its competitors (about $275 million), but through excellent customer service, it can grow significantly more!

Lumi Inc.

Lumi Inc. started as a dye manufacturer before expanding into supply chain management and packaging.

Lumi Inc. allows manufacturers to design and personalize their products online through its digital packaging marketplace. Narvar purchased Lumi in December of 2021 for a not disclosed price.

Lumi is the tech-friendly relative of low-cost alternatives such as East Coast Packaging and Paper Mart, and it is an excellent alternative to the industry giant Uline.

They offer a large selection of stock alternatives, but in addition, they let you personalize items like stamps so that you may add your company’s logo to your packaging for a reasonable price.

They are continually adding new tools that make managing your box inventory simple and streamlined, and they provide high-quality content, which is one of the reasons we are such great supporters of the service.

The Narvar team works with over 1100 of the world’s most recognizable retailers, including Lululemon, Levi’s, and GAP, to optimize shoppers’ shopping experiences after a purchase.

Lumi assists over 700 companies that sell directly to consumers in making more informed packaging decisions.

It also offers packaging items that can be customized at an affordable price. Lumi can change packaging and steal some customers away from Uline, thanks to Narvar.

Piedmont National

Piedmont National is an industry-leading packaging and shipping materials supply company established by Hugh Marx over seven decades ago in Atlanta, Georgia.

The company currently offers first-rate service in numerous regions around the United States.

Marx’s descendants have continued to run the business under their family’s name.

Uline Competitors and Alternatives Analysis

Piedmont’s expansion started slowly, but the company eventually caught up to its rivals and passed them by completing quite a few significant expansions in the 1980s and 1990s.

Piedmont has been supplying packaging materials since the company’s inception, a tactic that has succeeded after success.

Over the years, it has acquired great respect from its customers because it has focused solely on the core shipping business. It is hardly surprising that it brings in more than 260 million dollars in revenue.

Greif, Inc.

Greif Inc is the industry leader in providing goods and services related to industrial packaging. In the year 2021, Greif had 16,000 employees located all over the world in 40 different nations.

Greif’s net income in 2021 was $390.7 million, representing more than 300 percent over the $108.8 million it made in 2020.

Greif is currently placed 572nd among the Fortune 500 companies in 2021. In addition to coated and uncoated recycled paperboard, containerboard, and reconditioned bulk containers, the business also makes reconditioned bulk containers.

A company can purchase drums made of plastic, steel, or fiber from Greif and use them to store goods before shipping. Greif is an excellent alternative to Uline as a competitor.

Global Equipment Company,

The Global Equipment Company, is an essential component of the enormous Global Industrial, owned by the colossally successful Systemax Inc. Its primary focus is on dealing in various industrial and office goods.

Michael and Paul Leeds established Global Industrial in 1949 in the borough of Queens, New York. These days, the Global Equipment Company is best recognized in the industry as a provider of computers.

Global Industrial gives the industrial goods it distributes additional value. The business provides customers access to over a million different industrial and MRO items, many of which are exclusive to the Global Industrial brand.

Uline Competitors and Alternatives Analysis

Around 1,500 people were working for Global Industrial in 2021, and the company brought approximately 1.063 billion dollars in revenue.

The Global Equipment Company has a significant presence in various sub-sectors of the industrial supply sector, including the shipping and office equipment markets.

The almost $800 million in revenue that Global Industrial brings annually is entirely attributable to its parent firms.

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Customers can benefit from Global Industrial’s extensive product expertise and solutions-oriented approach by gaining an efficient advantage in resolving their difficulties.

Systemax Inc. owns Global Industrial, which runs its business operations through several companies called Global Equipment Company (GEC).

Orora Packaging

Orora Packaging is a manufacturer based in Australia that creates goods for shipping and packaging using raw materials and recycled materials.

A container deposit scheme in South Australia collects recycled glass or cullet from households, but the Gawler Plant consumes approximately 80 percent of it. Orora generated $2.74 billion in revenues for the year 2021.

In 2018, Orora Packaging paid $80.5 million to acquire Pollock Packaging, a company situated in Texas.

Pollock has specialized in shipping and packing goods for US customers since 1918. Due to this transaction, Uline will compete with Orora Packaging in the U.S. market.

Ranpak Holdings Corp.

Ranpak is the industry leader in providing environmentally friendly packaging solutions for supply chains in the industrial and commercial sectors.

Ranpak had an employee base of approximately 800 and a revenue of 383.9 million dollars in 2021. The amount contributed by packaging made of paper was 321.4 million dollars.

Uline Competitors and Alternatives Analysis

Machines and paper products manufactured by Ranpak are utilized in the protective packaging of items before delivery.

Additionally, the company offers automation solutions for organizations in the industrial and e-commerce sectors regarding their inventories and supply chains. One of Uline’s most significant competitors is Ranpak.

Clearwater Paper Corporation

Clearwater Paper is widely recognized as a leading provider of paperboard goods. Paperboard made by them is used in packaging food products, such as in folding carton boxes. The amount of revenue that the corporation made in 2021 was $1.8 billion.

Clearwater Paper and Uline are two companies that provide various packing; however, Clearwater is mostly focused on the food service industry, while Uline provides its services to organizations in various fields.

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Increasing labor and manufacturing costs prompted Clearwater Paper to raise its paperboard pricing in May 2021. The increase in prices has eroded Clearwater’s competitive advantage over Uline.

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