Sometime in 2020, the United States reported a sharp decline in demand for goods and services. Sectors like hospitality, tourism, and air transport couldn’t withstand the downturn, and many businesses shut down. As a result, many people believed it would be impossible to restore affected businesses and sectors even after the virus was contained. However, the good news, and contrary to most predictions, the 2021 economic problem seems a polar opposite.
Businesses are now facing an immense challenge of coping up with the surging demand for goods and services. A recent US Institute for Supply Management (ISM) survey showed record-long lead times, extreme product shortages, and rising commodity prices. Professor Nada Sanders, Supply Chain Management, Northeastern University, also shared her concerns about this situation. She said, “The global economy is vulnerable because it never really recovered.” “There is massive pent-up consumer demand.” “But it’s important to have supply and demand connected because when you have a supply shortage you don’t have the products consumers want.”
Paper and Print Industry Facing a Similar Challenge
This is a global problem, and it’s also impacting the entire paper and print industry. The Covid-19 halted manufacturing and forced many paper mills to shut down. Many remaining factories resorted to producing other paper products like board stock. We are now faced with a colossal manufacturing gap amidst the prevailing economic turnaround. Active paper mills are struggling to keep with the rising demand. In turn, we are experiencing an unprecedented paper stock shortage in many countries.
This has caused price fluctuations in paper stock and paper products. For example, Italy, headquartered Burgo was the first company in Europe to increase prices by up to 15%. Burgo UK managing director Alberto Bortoluzzi told Printweek, “we are in a perfect storm.” “Supplies have become costlier, especially from China and Asia; it’s very tough.”
The pandemic is accelerating paper stock shortage in response to failed mills and demand shifts. As a result, stocks are dwindling, and prices are rising. (Source: Financial Times, 2021. Pandemic Accelerates Decline In Paper Products Industry, Resulting In Mills Being Shut Down)
Source: The Business Research Company’s Paper Products Global Market Report 2021: COVID-19 Impact and Recovery to 2030
How it Affects Scyphus and What Our Clients Can Do
In the UK, we are witnessing paper shortages in various market segments. It’s unclear when the situation will improve. It’s getting extra tricky to get hold of some paper stock grades, and many companies are in the same boat. Global events affected paper availability and manufacturing capacity. Freight delays increased fuel costs, and shortage of pulp hampered the influx of paper stock and triggered price increases.
Given that the situation is still unpredictable, it’s essential to think of sustainable measures. Scyphus encourages you to make pre-orders to support cost-efficient production. Pre-planning allows us to find affordable paper stock supplies on time. We are tackling ongoing shortages by bulking up our inventory with the necessary basic materials and paper stock. While it’s gradual, we are already stocked with adequate paper suppliers to meet recent orders.
We are also exploring alternative sheets to ensure ongoing production and constant supplies. We aim to see your business running and equipped to exploit existing and new opportunities.