Snapshot: Paper Supplier Update

Oct. 13, 2022
Associated Labels Supply

Even though we are a couple of years into the pandemic, we are still experiencing raw material shortages on all fronts. It has definitely been a roller coaster of events! Over the last two years, we have learned that change is inevitable.
Things will remain tight in terms of supply for the next several months, however, there is hope for some stability starting in the early months of 2023!
What Is the Problem?
Currently, there are still shortages of everything from food products to timber. These shortages led to transportation bottlenecks and price increases, all of which are at the highest levels they have been in a long time. To make matters worse, there have been a series of incidents to further exacerbate the situation, from cost inflation, to the ongoing global supply chain crisis. Most supply chains globally are strained, causing delays and price increases across the board.
As of September 20, 2022, we were advised from our main pressure-sensitive label material suppliers that one of their main manufacturing paper mills was closing their doors. This plant supplies 30% of the white paper liner to the industry.  We are already feeling the strain this closure will have when it does close in 2023. 
What Does This Mean For You?
Unfortunately, we are not immune to these global supply chain issues as they continue. Currently, we are continuing to see increased lead times and price increases for many materials. We will do whatever we can to help find a solution for your application using material we have on the floor but this may not always be possible.  Please get your orders in as soon as possible and prepare for some possible delays. 
What Can We Do Together?
Although we can't fix the problem, we do have a few suggestions that may help:

  • Ship partial orders
  • Use a similar material if your usual material is out of stock – this may require you to test an alternative material before we produce your order
  • Use oversized material
  • Forecast your inventory for a more extended period than usual to ensure you remain in stock
  • Leave some time in between your expected packing production date and when you are expecting your packaging to arrive.
  • These options may trigger some extra costs and time, but it could be worth it, depending on the situation at that time.

If you are concerned about an upcoming order, please reach out to your sales representative as soon as possible. We always suggest planning ahead as much as possible to avoid delays, especially in these situations, and we'd be happy to assist in any way we can!