Berlin is rigid and closed off, but only when it comes to its plastics and lids. Chicago-based Berlin Packaging is a US distributor of rigid packaging, such as glass, metal, and plastic stock bottles and closures, dispensing systems, and other components used in the personal care, chemical, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. It also offers packaging design, inventory management, delivery, and financing services. Berlin markets and sells its more than 24,000 products through its 80 or so sales offices and warehouses in the US and Puerto Rico. Equity group Investcorp owns a majority stake in the company.
Berlin's operations over the years have been fairly consistent. The company's double-digit year-over-year growth in sales and earnings in 2010 is a feat that has been repeated for 20 consecutive years. One of the driving factors for Berlin's recent success has come from the company's specialty division, which saw across the board sales increases: Studio One Eleven (custom packaging and graphic design) realized a 36% increase in sales, Freund Container & Supply (on-line packaging) was up 21%, Dangerous Goods (hazardous and temperature-sensitive materials) climbed 19%, and Qorpak (laboratory packaging) ascended 17%.
Berlin opened the lid on growth in 2010 when it acquired All-Pak, a Pittsburgh-based packaging supplier. The acquisition expands Berlin's product portfolio, as well as its customer base and geographic market. Staying within the cozy confines of the Windy City, Berlin acquired Chicago-based Continental Packaging Solutions later that same year. The addition of Continental Packaging bolsters Berlin's sales and warehouse facilities as well as the company's sourcing capabilities in China. All-Pak and Continental Packaging Solutions facilities were rebranded in early 2011 and now operate under the Berlin Packaging name, hosting a slew of services, such as custom packaging and graphic design, and capital lending and consulting.
The company was founded in 1898 as Riekes Container. The Berlin family acquired the company (then known as Alco Packaging) in 1988. The firm was renamed Berlin Packaging in 1990. – less