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Paper Shortages Now and Increasing Since 2012

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To all our customers,

Who would have thought that we'd see global supply chain breakdowns and shortages of products we all used from the time we were little. Included in this worldwide problem is the paper and print industry. When COVID began, many paper mills either shut down their machinery, or converted machines to produce other paper materials like board stock. Now there is a struggle to keep up with increased demand. From shortages to inflated costs, the printing industry has faced numerous challenges with sourcing paper, and I wanted to take some time to give you some nuggets that you might not have known. This will help you make better decisions when purchasing for deadlines or just for your general stocking purchases of day-to-day business print products. 

Why is there a lack of supply?

The supply of paper has been steadily declining since 2012. Paper companies and mills were struggling to make a profit. When the pandemic hit in 2020, many of these companies closed down altogether. Now demand has recovered to pre-pandemic levels but supply is unable to keep up.


Because of this, we are seeing a paper stock shortage that is affecting price adjustments in various paper products including printing paper and carton materials.

The pandemic continues to accelerate in response to consumer behavior shifts, resulting in substantial stock shortage increased stock pricing, and failing mills. (Source: Financial Times, 2021. Pandemic Accelerates Decline In Paper Products Industry, Resulting In Mills Being Shut Down)

Why is there so much inflation?

With less supply and more demand, the cost of paper has skyrocketed.

What is imagePro365 doing about it?

  • We are working with our suppliers and sourcing more to make sure all our products are available for you to order.

  • We have tried to absorb the inflationary costs but there may be times we need to increase prices on some products. 

  • Turnaround times have been adjusted on production and shipping because it is taking longer to obtain supplies and it is taking longer for carriers to deliver because of labor shortages. With people not wanting to work or not wanting to return to work, sometimes that creates a bottleneck.

  • Sometimes a stock or substrate, which is a direct substitute is used to make sure your order goes out on time. We will never substitute with a lesser product even if it means we don't make any profit on your order.

What can I expect going forward?

Until supply can catch up with demand, the print industry will continue to face supply chain shortages and inflation. We hope this is only temporary and we truly return to a normal flow of goods and services around the globe.

What should I do? 

  • Adjust your deadline expectations for products because of stock or shipping lead time extensions.

  • Don't be suprised if you get a stock or substrate upgrade.




Posted in: Industry Trends

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