Paper Demand Nears All-Time High Due to eCommerce, Manufacturing, Recycling Trends
Many factors have converged in recent years resulting in demand outpacing supply and subsequent price increases for paper products. According to reporting from multiple sources including Ibis World, CNN Money and pri.org, primary causes include evolving consumer spending habits, growth in eCommerce and industrial production, and US paper mill closures and product changeover.
Consumer confidence continues on the upswing due to a strengthening US economy, meaning more goods are being produced, packaged, promoted and purchased. This also correlates to an increased need for wood pulp and industrial capacity to make packaging materials, including shipping cartons. Coupled with the continual surge in eCommerce, the demand for kraft and corrugated is infringing on resources to produce specialty and graphic-quality paper traditionally used for collateral marketing material. This phenomenon is sometimes referred to as “the Amazon Effect.” Of significance, the reigning champ now has a slew of competitors joining the eCommerce ranks, notably traditional brick-and-mortar retailers Walmart and Target. And, adding to the perfect storm of high demand was the shutdown of nearly 20 paper mills in the southern U.S. last year due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
What does it mean for consumers and commercial enterprises that heavily rely on specialty paper as well as kraft and corrugated for packaging and more? The possibility that stocks once readily available may no longer be, requiring extended lead time or cost. More importantly, what does it mean for you? Contact us to learn more and be sure to confer with your Homewood representative for options to help keep your print projects budget-friendly.
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