Printing Industry in Estonia

Estonian printing sector is a technology-driven industry with a high use of digital technologies, also the implementation of automatization and smart energy solution is part of everyday business.

The printing industry is one of the oldest industries in Estonia, having operated consistently since 1631, the year when the first printing shop started operating in Tartu. It is now almost 400 years later and more than 450 printing shops are operational, all of them competing in a highly competitive global printing market. There are more than 117,000 printing shops in Europe alone, which employ more than 637,000 employees and the printing industry of Europe has an aggregate turnover of 85 billion euros. The aggregate turnover of the printing industry in Estonia alongside printed packaging is 400 million euros and the printing industry as a whole employs about 4000 employees (2019).

When comparing these numbers, we can see that Estonia is a small nation in the context of the European printing industry, with more than 50% of the production done in printing shops and 75% of printed packaging products being exported out of Estonia.

The main export countries are Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Latvia. Estonian companies are no longer able to compete for the lowest costs on the market; the future relies mostly on resource-efficient production, automation, product development and continuous quality improvement. When offering a high-quality production process that uses environmentally friendly and innovative materials, the printing industry becomes a partner to various types of companies that create very different products.

Association of Estonian Printing & Packaging Industry

Association of Estonian Printing & Packaging Industry represents entrepreneurs in printing industry who are interested in maintaining a favorable business environment and advancing their business and cooperation.

Main activities of the Association:

  • Representing and protecting the interests of entrepreneurs
  • Representing members in government and policy formation
  • Developing Estonian business environment in printing industry
  • Developing and promoting skills oriented vocational education
  • Providing information and training for entrepreneurs
  • Settling disputes through its board of experts

In addition to having their voice heard in the Estonian economic policy, the membership of the AEPPI gives an entrepreneur a number of different benefits, such as:

  • A lot of useful and update information of the segment
  • Yearly training at bargain prices for the members
  • Information regarding international cooperation and queries
  • Various statistics about the printing sector in Estonia and abroad
  • Exchange of information regarding job offers, trainees from vocational school etc

The printing of books and periodicals is stable

The Estonian printing industry trends are similar to the trends in the European printing industry. The book printing market is quite stable and although the number of prints is declining, the number of titles being printed is growing at the same time. Self-publishing is quite popular in Scandinavia because many people write and wish to publish their books on their own. Small prints mean that digital printing grows, print-your-own-book-services are also evolving and increasing. New technology allows for solutions that are increasingly flexible and affordable. The printing of magazines and newspapers is slightly declining, but the printing of catalogues and advertising materials is generally rather stable.

Printed labels and packaging foster the most innovation

The label and packaging market has been steadily flourishing for some time and continues to grow. New materials and technologies are being developed which make it possible to save material while maintaining the necessary characteristics of the packaging. In addition, products are becoming “smarter”. Smart packaging, smart labels, and printed electronics are all definitely a growing market, but today they are all still too expensive for the manufacturer. Rapid growth in their use will make them increasingly available.