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Antalis on how to tackle packaging supply issues

In 2020, packaging manufacturers had to ramp up efforts overnight in response to a surge in e-commerce caused by the pandemic. Now, businesses are also having to navigate global supply shortages and logistics issues.

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Labour shortages and raw material supply issues could pose a problem for peak 2021

John Garner, head of business development for packaging at Antalis, highlights issues with labour and raw material shortages as two of the key contributing factors.

He says: “Consider that for many years, the paper and pulp industry has been in decline as the world shifts to digital. Despite a renewed focus on paper-based packaging over recent years, as concerns around the use of single-use plastics grow, the forced shift to online shopping has accelerated demand far faster than anyone could have predicted.

“It means that the production of the pulp, starches and glues used in the manufacture of packaging materials is all having to be stepped up. Hold-ups at ports, caused by increased paperwork post Brexit and the driver shortage, are all adding to delays.”

He adds: “It’s important to remember that pressure on paper supply is likely to increase still further once the Plastic Packaging Tax comes into force in April next year.”

John Garner, head of business development for packaging at Antalis

Antalis has offered advice to the packaging industry on how to best prepare for this change in tax, and for tackling packaging labour shortages, Garner recommends investing in automated machinery.

Automatic case erectors, packers and sealers; automatic pallet wrappers; and automated packaging systems are all listed by Garner as valuable investments for maximising throughput and keeping workers safe.

In terms of a shortage in qualified drivers, Garner recommends minimising pack weight and volume by using less packaging; right-sizing cartons using machinery that automatically matches box size to contents to improve speed and efficiency; and producing bespoke packaging designs which businesses can do using Antalis’ Smart Packaging Centre.

Garner concludes: “While preparations for peak will be at the forefront of the minds of most people working in the packaging and logistics industry, it’s important to remember that well thought out changes and investments made now will deliver benefits long into the future.”

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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