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Antalis packaging looks the effect of corrugated board shortages in the packaging industry

12 Feb 2021 —
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Antalis’ Head of Business Development for Packaging, John Garner, is urging packaging and logistics businesses to talk to their packaging providers now, to plan and prepare for what may be another challenging year.

Antalis’ Head of Business Development for Packaging, John Garner, is urging packaging and logistics businesses to talk to their packaging providers now, to plan and prepare for what may be another challenging year.

COVID-19 has brought about an acceleration in the transition to online purchasing. This has had a significant impact on the use of packaging as the need for businesses to simply get orders out of the door quickly, became a priority.

The market is however presently experiencing a shortage in obtaining cardboard boxes and corrugated board for deliveries. There is a delay in getting pulp fibres back into the recycling chain that are used to make further packaging boxes and corrugated board.  This and other factors hitting the supply chain are combining to create this shortage in packaging material leaving many businesses with a real logistical problem.

Antalis Packaging is advising businesses to consider their planning for peak periods well in advance. “Whilst we are optimistic that present supply issues may settle down quickly, this year will be different with the growing demand for packaging expected to be an ongoing trend.” said John.

John explains; “the recent problem lies partly in the recycling chain as there is a shortage of pulp used to make packaging and this is affecting supply. Pre-pandemic, most deliveries were made directly in bulk to shops and restaurants, and packaging found its way quickly back into the system via established recycling policies and good practices. Today, availability of recovered paper and board is limited, and is expected to decrease further in the future.  With high street retail closed, packaging is now going directly to consumers and is taking much longer to reach the recycling chain; and, even if it does, there is a high possibility of it being contaminated from household use or poor consumer disposal practices.”

However, John is quick to reassure that there can be solutions to the current situation such as the use of alternative packaging materials, the use of clever packaging design to minimise material use and just good planning which considers the present challenges. “Antalis is renowned for finding packaging solutions, whether this is a bespoke pack design, a more efficient box size or shape or the use of a new packaging material. We have a vast range of specialist products to support businesses to get goods out of the door from packaging boards, boxes, void fill, pallets, tapes, to shrink and stretch film. At Antalis we have our Smart Packaging Centre (SPC), a ‘state-of-the art’ lab.  Here we help customers resolve packaging-related issues by coming up with designs, materials and solutions to their challenges.”

John concludes: “2021 is going to be an interesting year for all sorts of reasons. Availability and lead times are extended, shortage of materials, backlogs at ports are all compounding what is, a difficult situation. We’re likely to see lots of changes and developments. At Antalis, we offer free audits where we will come in and review your operation and make recommendations on the kinds of improvements that can be made. We are also, as a business planning and reviewing our supply chains. So, I would encourage collaboration to cope with the present shortage in supply and future changes like we’ve never seen before. Get advice, take long term action and talk to your packaging supplier now.”