Paper is a critical resource and an essential part of our daily lives.
If you didn’t know, a paper shortage started last year and will likely continue in the coming year. In times of uncertainty, it helps to have all the information, so let’s talk about it!
Understanding and Planning for the Paper Shortage
The Paper Shortage Issue
In recent years, a few North American paper mills closed their doors as aging infrastructure and rising labor costs, combined with strict environmental regulations, made it increasingly difficult to keep up with the competition.
Many mills have switched from paper production to packaging to replace this lost capacity. This shift to a focus on packaging resulted in nearly 20% less paper production from 2019’s supply. Many companies are stockpiling more paper in anticipation of a continued shortage expected in the coming year.
In the past few years, we also experienced a pandemic-induced shortfall in supply. This has led to reliance on overseas sources, which comes with its own set of obstacles. Recently, there have not been enough containers or ships to transfer materials made and acquired by US markets in the Pacific.
The shortage has highlighted the need for increased global collaboration to ensure that international trade and supply chains are as resilient as possible.
Paper Shortage Implications
We will do everything we can to keep you on time and budget throughout the shortage.
But we do want to acknowledge that it is possible, at some point, you could experience an increase in price as we, too, are experiencing an overall marginal rise in prices across the industry.
It is also possible that some print materials, such as specialty paper stock, will be harder to obtain. So, if you have a particular project in mind that requires a specialty paper, the sooner you can let us know, the more time we have to obtain the materials.
If you are working on a project with a tight timeline, we will happily offer you suggestions based on what we already have in stock to speed up the process.
Paper Shortage Solutions
These excellent opportunities can help you stay on track with your business objectives during this time of paper shortage:
- Proactive planning with lead times
- Maintaining an open line of communication throughout the entire printing process
- Considering sustainable sources of paper, such as recycled paper and alternative materials
And here’s what we are doing as a business and an industry:
- Advocating for increased reforestation efforts to help replenish the world’s forests
- Staying informed about changes in the supply chain that could impact our business operations
- Monitoring pricing trends to anticipate potential cost increases due to shortages and advise you in the process
While this is a real challenge, it doesn’t mean that print materials have lost their place in marketing and advertising strategies!
In fact, with many businesses relying on digital media, a well-designed printed item can stand out from the crowd and make a big impression.
Print advertising has never been more valuable than it is today!
Whatever your print needs, we’ve got you covered. Contact our team today to get started on your next print project.