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Top 10 Uline Competitors & Alternatives

uline competitors alternatives

Uline was founded in 1980 by husband and wife Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein and is based in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. They specialize in offering shipping, as well as industrial and other business supplies. Uline remains privately held to this day and employs over 8000 people.

But we’re here to talk about the Top 10 Uline competitors & alternatives…

So, in this article, I’ll be looking at ten of Uline’s fiercest competitors. First up, though, for those who want the broader picture of Uline’s substantial foothold in the packaging industry, and to understand just what its competitors are competing against…

A Little More Uline History

Uline started as Richard and Elizabeth selling H-101 carton sizers in their basement. But, since then, they’ve grown to one of the most significant industrial packaging suppliers and wholesalers in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Uline has eleven distribution hubs spread across these three countries. Offering more than 17000 products. And it registered a revenue of $5.8 billion in the latest fiscal year.

a little more uline history

How did they get there?

One of the main reasons for this company’s tremendous success is the constant expansion of its catalog. Uline now offers warehouse equipment, packaging materials, janitorial supplies, and shipping products. 

In recent years, Uline seemed to be an unstoppable force bent on success. But it faced big challenges during the pandemic back in 2020. 

When COVID first hit all those years ago, Liz Uihlein was noted for being an avid denier concerning the seriousness of the virus. This did not bode well for the company’s reputation. Considering how serious it became. But further controversy came later in the same year. When it was reported that Richard Uihlein had donated millions of dollars to far-right activist groups for the January 6th insurrection. 

Fast forward to today…

On top of those hurdles, Uline has to now compete with a number of other companies seeking to take advantage of the gaps left in the market. Some of them might even have ambitions of growing bigger than Uline.

Next up are 10 of Uline’s biggest competitors in no specific order or ranking.

Top 10 Uline Competitors & Alternatives

1 Ranpak Holdings Corp. 

Indeed, Ranpak Holdings is one of the biggest international names when it comes to protective paper-based packing. Their materials are mainly used in shipping and e-commerce merchandise.

Ranpak has also branched out a bit to include a few automation solutions in its catalog of products and services. The company has been around for more than 50 years and is currently based in Ohio. 

But they have a notable presence elsewhere that’s growing…

Ranpak has locations in Reno, Raleigh, Kansas, Nevada, North Carolina, and Missouri. It has also expanded to international locations in Shanghai, the Czech Republic, and Singapore

In the latest reported year, Ranpak had over 800 employees and registered revenue in excess of $350 million. And more than $300 million of that revenue was generated from their paper-based packaging products. 

Ranpak Holdings Corp. 

The green factor…

One of the biggest contributions to Ranpak’s success is the fact that they place great importance on making environmentally friendly products. Being friendly to the planet is a high priority for customers these days. And Ranpak is one of the world leaders in this regard. 

Ranpak’s packaging material also has many uses, like wrapping, cushioning, void filling, and cold chain purposes.

Amongst its customers, Ranpak counts big names like IKEA, Amazon, and Walmart. So, Ranpak’s ever-growing popularity and innovation make it a potentially serious competitor to Uline

2 Orora Packaging Solutions

Created in 2013, Orora was born when the international packaging giant, Amcor, demerged its Australasian fiber and beverage distribution business. As well as its North American packaging distribution business, the Australian leg of Orora focuses on glass bottles, as well as beverage cans, and wine closures. 

Orora manufactures its products from both raw and recycled materials. About 80% of the recycled glass from the South Australian container deposit scheme is reworked at Orora’s Gawler Plant. 

But it’s their acquisitions that are pushing them ahead…

Orora bought the Texas-based Pollock Packaging company for about $80.5 billion in 2018. Pollock is a massive name in the packaging and shipping industry within the states, and Orora’s acquisition of this well-established brand has definitely increased its competitive edge against Uline. 

3 Clearwater Paper Corporation

Founded in 2008, Clearwater Paper is one of the leading manufacturers of paper and pulp products in the U.S. Clearwater recently reported revenue of about $1.8 billion.

Currently, the company has two main divisions. Firstly there are consumer products which include household products like paper towels, napkins, and tissues. Secondly, there is the pulp and paperboard division that provides plates, folding carton boxes, cups, and liquid packaging. 

With a different piece of the pie…

While Clearwater offers packaging solutions like Uline does, its focus is more on the food service sector. That being said, this sector makes up a large chunk of the overall market. And Uline will have to step up its game if it wants to pose more of a threat in this area. 

Clearwater recently announced substantial price increases for its paperboard in order to combat higher labor and production costs. This increase most definitely helped Uline with its competitive edge against this competitor. But it remains to be seen for how long.

Clearwater Paper Corporation

4 Berlin Packaging

In terms of growth and product variety, Berlin Packaging constitutes one of the biggest threats to Uline both in the U.S. and overseas

Currently, the company is the world’s largest hybrid packaging supplier of metal containers and closures, glass, and plastic. Berlin Packaging has headquarters in Chicago and Milan and employs almost 2500 people at over 130 offices and warehouses across the world.

And the numbers get even more impressive…

Berlin Packaging supplies well over a billion items to its customers every year. Since 2016 the company has made no less than 19 acquisitions, including Premi in 2022. With this last addition, Berlin Packaging expanded its arsenal to include packaging solutions for the cosmetic industry, an area that remains largely untouched by Uline

Another bonus of the Premi purchase was the acquisition of Gerfran SAS. This Atlanta-based firm manufactures glass packaging for beverages and further increased the threat posed to Uline’s bottom line. In the previous fiscal year, Berlin Packaging generated around $1.6 billion in revenue

5 Global Industrial

Next up is a company founded in 1949 as a material handler called Global Equipment Company. Now called Global Industrial. Since then, it has grown to one of the largest suppliers of industrial and MRO (maintenance, repair, and operating supply) products in the U.S.

Thanks to a network of branded e-commerce websites, marketers, and subsidiaries, Global Industrial is able to supply all its U.S. customers with well over a million products. The company prides itself on product knowledge. And what it calls the solutions-based approach to customer service. 

And when you have the love of the people…

Global Industrial is a trusted name with a long history of good customer service. Despite a decrease of almost 10% in revenue over the last four quarters, the company remains in the top ten, with a reported annual revenue of well over $1.2 billion. 

Global Industrial

6 Lumi Inc.

The Lumi Inc. entity was founded by partners Jesse Genet and Stephan Ango in 2009. Initially, Lumi made its money with Inkodye. A special kind of vat dye that develops its color from exposure to UV or sunlight. After some success, the company expanded into packaging and supply chain management.

Lumi’s biggest edge comes from its modern solutions and innovations. Using Lumi’s digital marketplace, customers can not only customize packaging but design personal packages for their products from the ground up. 

So they have an innovative edge to be reckoned with…

In 2021, Lumi was bought by Narvar, which served as a massive boost to not only funding but its network of potential customers. With the help of this new investor, the company acquired new clients. As well as improved the customer satisfaction of the 700-plus clients it already had. Brands that make use of the Lumi platform include Levi’s, Lululemon, and GAP

And higher-end clients can tip the scales in this business…

So, Lumi’s high-end products come at a premium. But they’ve managed to maintain a variety of options that are more low-cost. With Narvar in its corner, Lumi is poised to bring about great change and innovation in the industry. This makes them one of Uline’s most dangerous competitors

7 Veritiv Corporation

The Veritiv Corporation was born in July 2014, when xpedx (A division of International Paper) merged with Unisource Worldwide. The company employs over 6000 people and has over 100 distribution centers spread across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Like Uline, Veritiv specializes in offering business-to-business packaging and hygiene supplies. However, Veritiv has the added benefit of offering products within the print and publishing industries. On top of this, the company also offers products and services within the logistics and supply chain management sectors. 

Veritiv Corporation

So their strength is in their diversity…

Veritiv is currently ranked 412th on the Fortune 500. And a recent report showed 8% growth in net sales, which translated to around $6.9 billion. And these numbers will grow rapidly if they choose to diversify even further.

8 Greif Inc.

My next Uline competitor has a rich history going back almost 150 years. Vanderwyst & Greif was founded by Charles Greif and Albert Vanderwyst in 1877. The company was renamed Greif Bros when three of Charles’ brothers joined the business. 

Originally, the company made the bulk of its income by providing cooperage used in the transportation of goods in post-Civil War U.S. It went public in 1926, and in the ’50s, relocated to Delaware, Ohio. At around the same time, the company moved out of cooperage and into industrial packaging. 

And that sealed the deal…

Greif Inc has grown into one of the world’s leading suppliers of industrial packaging products and services. It has made a number of profitable acquisitions over the years, most notably Huhtamaeki Van Leer Oyj in 2000. And with the purchase of the Finnish packaging company, Grief essentially doubled in size.  

In 2020, Grief registered an income of $108.8 million. A year later, it was nearly $400 million. That’s an increase of more than 300%. 

With more than 16000 employees in 40 countries, Grief is one of the biggest names in the business and will always be one of Uline’s biggest competitors

9 WestRock

Headquartered in Sandy Springs, Georgia, it is the second-largest packaging company in America and one of the biggest paper and packaging companies in the world. WestRock was born from the merger of MeadWestvaco and RockTenn in 2015. 

Their specialty?

WestRock specializes in corrugated and consumer packaging. Like containerboards, CRB (coated recycled board), cardboard boxes, and other types of industrial packaging. And it is known for being one of the industry leaders in terms of sustainable packaging

In 2021, the company won the Paperboard Packaging Council Sustainability Award. And in that same year, WestRock showed a 7% increase in net sales, totaling $18.7 billion. 

They currently have a workforce of more than 50 000 spread across more than 300 locations in 30 countries. So this industry giant is without a doubt one of the biggest threats to Uline’s market share

10 The International Paper Company

International Paper is, without a doubt, the biggest pulp and paper company in the world. It was founded in 1898 when no less than seventeen of the biggest pulp and paper mills in the country were consolidated by founders William Augustus Russell and Hugh J. Chisholm. 

The company enjoyed tremendous success shortly after its birth due to the popularization of the linotype. This invention made it possible for much larger newspapers to be printed. And, therefore, increased the demand for newsprint. The newly formed International Paper Company capitalized on this gap in the market and was at one point responsible for more than 60% of all newsprint in the United States.


International Paper has since branched out into other sectors, including industrial packaging. One of their most significant competitive edges is fiber-based packaging. An alternative that has become increasingly popular amongst customers. In addition to this, they offer uncoated printing and writing paper. 

As of the end of the latest fiscal, International Paper employed around 39 000 people working at 28 pulp and paper mills, as well as 200 packaging centers and 18 recycling plants. The company’s reported revenue for that year was around $21 billion, which is %10 more than the previous year. 

Interestingly, despite being a massive international name, International Paper still makes most of its money within the North American market. This makes it the biggest direct competitor to not only Uline but any company that operates within the same sector

Love a Bit of Competition?

Then why not browse a few more of our articles that stack up other well-known U.S. brands with their alternatives?

Check out the Biggest Target Competitors, the Biggest Dollar General Competitors, the Top 15 Wayfair Competitors & Alternatives, the Biggest Walgreens Competitors, and the Biggest CVS Competitors you should know about!

Looking for alternatives to your favorite fast food and entertainment brands?

We cover that too! Take a look at the Biggest McDonald’s Competitors, these Top 15 Chipotle Competitors & Alternatives, and the Top 9 DoorDash Competitors & Alternatives. AS well as the latest Biggest Amazon Competitors and the Top 15 Lego Competitors & Alternatives making a stir!

Or how about your favorite specialist stores and services you thought no one would ever replace?

Oh, but that’s how business works!

So, don’t miss our latest guides to the Top 10 LoveSac Competitors & Alternatives and the Top 15 Ashley Madison Competitors and Alternatives. And let’s not forget the Top 20 Apple Competitors and Alternatives and many, many more.

Simply search the website to get all the market information worth knowing in 2023!

Ok, back to…

The Top 10 Uline Competitors & Alternatives

Uline’s market share is constantly being threatened by a plethora of competitors. Whether it’s the established names of industry giants like WestRock and International Paper, or the innovation and expansion of younger companies like Orora and Lumi.

On top of that, the company has to deal with the aftermath of a few controversies surrounding the political dealings of its owners. But one thing is for sure. Maintaining the company’s competitive edge and market share will not be easy.

Watch this space!

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About Linda Shepard

Linda is employed by one of the biggest employment agencies in San Francisco and has over 15 years of experience in finding her clients their dream job. She prides herself on being able to match the right person to the right position, which inevitably creates a great working relationship for the employee and the company moving forward.

When she isn't writing articles or working, she enjoys gardening, socializing, and going for long walks on the beach and in nature.

She lives with her boyfriend Carl and their cat, Fluffy.

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