Thomas, New York, released its year-end Index Report, which reveals the top product and service categories buyers sourced online in 2018.

The report, “2018 Sourcing Activity eBook,” ranked corrugated boxes, plastic bottles and food products as among the Top 5 claiming high sourcing activity. 

The Top 5 services sourced by volume were CNC machining, plastic injection molding, metal fabrication, metal stamping and tube fabrication and bending service.

The categories that saw the biggest increase in sourcing activity in 2018 over 2017 were private label foods and rubber extrusions, among others.

Looking forward to 2019, some markets to keep an eye on entail plastic recycling services, third-party logistics (3PL) services and sensors.

Plastic recycling services will be hot because China ceased importing U.S. recyclable plastic waste.

3PL services will be in strong demand due in part to the continued growth of e-commerce and the increase in companies needing to streamline transportation, distribution and fulfillment services.

Sourcing for sensors will continue to grow, as they’re a critical component throughout the high-tech automated factory floors of Industry 4.0.