I ( Euby ) attended a Zoom meeting on the Supply Chain issues yesterday evening that I found very interesting and informative, and I wanted to share a few points from the event!
For now….Suncoast has leveraged it’s relationships with the various mills and plants, and we have an adequate supply of paper and labels stocks…….
However, Domestic Paper and Labels and the Shipping Containers for imported paper and label stocks are in very short supply….and it is worsening daily!
Import wise China is having extreme electrical grid issues…due to pressures applied by the Various world organizations ( and their pollution issues ) they are actually taking some of their older coal fired plants off Line and updating them to “clean coal” fired plants…this is creating havoc in their grid and requiring rotating brown and black outs. You may have experienced these types of order delays already….as we have over the last few months.
Chinese paper ( and label ) mills are built right next to the ports…they do not store anything…
It goes out the back door…across the parking lot and onto a ship….BUT there are no containers available so they have to “shut down” the plant until the product they made last month can be loaded….Other exporting countries have product ready to ship but no containers or ships to bring it to the US.
They also have Labor shortages as we do….so imports ( as well as our domestic plants are being greatly impacted.
Adding to the issue, our domestic paper production has been taken off line or re-purposed for packaging, tissues or diapers over the last 2 years totaling over 120,000 tons per year…and
there has been no new paper producing mills opened since 1983 due to environmental regulations.
( Harder to open a paper mill than any other production facility other than Nuclear Power Plants! )
The popular consensus with the industry experts is it will get much worse before it gets better….and plan on shortages well into 2022! As of today…when a plant orders paper the ETA on many coated and uncoated sheets is now into MID FEBRUARY. The same is true for label stocks. Promotional item inventories are at a several decades low….and there is no foreseeable time line as to when it will ease.
If you need printed products….paper or labels….or promotional items Suncoast is now recommending you order 90 days in advance. Order Early …..it will help you avoid the frustrations of stock outages.