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Catalogue makers turned away due to paper shortage

American media company, Bloomberg, has reported on a shortage of paper and packing materials in the run up to Christmas.

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Bloomberg has reported struggles by US retailers and print companies in making holiday catalogues

The shortage, Bloomberg says, comes from the ‘spike’ in e-commerce during the pandemic, as well as several paper mills in North America having to shut down. The shortage means companies looking to place orders for holiday catalogues and brochures, are being turned away.

Bloomberg notes how similar problems have been felt overseas, with material shortages making it difficult for American companies to source supplies, especially due to increased costs in logistics.

Books, toilet paper, and carboard are all products that have seen the strain of limited supplies, and increased demand over the past year. The re-opening of retail and hospitality, along with back-to-school and autumn campaigns already put demand at a high, meaning the build up to Christmas stock is only getting stricter.

Speaking to Bloomberg, chief executive officer for DS Smith, Miles Roberts, says: “The paper market, as a market overall, is extremely tight. We’ve seen numerous price increases going through on paper. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were further increases because it is so tight.”

The paper market, as a market overall, is extremely tight. We’ve seen numerous price increases going through on paper

DS Smith operates nine paper mills in Europe, and two in North America, and has previously cited “significant increases to the price of paper” in its September earnings call.

The paper deficiency has been pinned as more of an issue with mill capacity and reduced labour, despite average the average price of paper going up as much as 16%, a statistic reported by catalogue printers, Nahan.

Prices in lumber reached a record $1,733.50 (£1,263.75) per thousand board feet in May, which increased prices in products like kitchen roll and wood flooring. The cost has since fallen back to an average price of $638.80 (£465.54).

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

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