⛓Learn how the global supply chain disruption is affecting custom packaging orders.
There is no doubt that COVID-19 has disrupted much of what we know.
Constant lockdowns, border requirements, and more have left much of the world scrambling to figure out a new kind of normal – and the packaging industry is no different.
There has been a lot of coverage around disruptions to the global supply chain in the wake of the pandemic.
In addition, global workforce shortages have led to immense pressure on supply chains especially considering how demand has skyrocketed over the lockdown periods.
As a result, manufacturers and distributors are struggling to keep up, particularly e-commerce businesses.
In turn, this has meant that crucial packaging materials such as cardboard have been in short supply.
But why is this happening? We’ll explore some of the key reasons why the global supply chain is disrupted and what you can do to get ahead of it.
The pandemic isn’t the only cause of custom packaging shortages, especially in the last year.
While yes, the pandemic started, other events have since exacerbated the issue.
The first example of this would be Brexit. With the EU and UK cutting ties, it has meant a major disruption across major transport routes, and a shortage of truck drivers has led to further issues.
Key transport routes such as the ones between France and England have seen the most disruption, leading to the most delays.
While the US may not have the same political issues as the rest of the world, there are still issues around labor shortages that are causing delays.
For example, a lack of truck drivers and trucks has led to blockages across the supply chain and driving up delivery time.
Manufacturing delays can also be traced back to significant resource issues that hit major producers such as Europe and China.
Energy crises in the country have affected production output in the last few months, leading to problems.
Coupled with port blockages due to localized infections and a lack of trucks and drivers, and you start to see how it all connects.
The supply chain is exactly that – a chain.
When one link falls apart, the others are naturally affected.
When a high production country such as China is affected, it inevitably trickles down the rest of the supply chain.
This ends up causing a lot of issues for industries such as custom packaging.
Unpredictable Production Output
With the energy crises and other problems in place, it’s no surprise that production output has been difficult to predict.
That means that manufacturers and businesses have had to make faster decisions and problem-solve.
For some, this has meant rising costs to get products shipped and packaged and shorter timeframes to ensure customers receive the items.
Other businesses have been more precautionary, ordering ahead of time and extra quantities, which means that production resources are imbalanced.
Furthermore, with so many different factors at play, companies have to scramble with new strategies quickly, which means that demand has had to shift alongside, leading to unpredictability.
Demand for packaging materials
Cardboard is a fundamental part of custom packaging, and it has also been severely affected due to global supply chain issues.
Paper pulp is one of the most needed materials for custom packaging, with demand skyrocketing like no other.
As more people stay at home and order online, cardboard boxes have seen immense demand – and with that, an immense price hike. Similar to other materials such as wood containers and pallets, the supply chain issues have cascaded down and impacted demand and pricing.
These issues have led to inequitable demand and supply at a crucial time – the holiday season.
While some companies may afford to stockpile and buy in advance, this has led to significant issues for small businesses that cannot afford to do the same.
As a result, small and medium businesses have struggled to keep up with demand while ensuring shorter fulfillment times as we get closer to the holiday season, leading to more pressure.
In turn, this means that courier services are also delayed in reaching packages to customers.
With all of these issues in place – one thing is clear: Order now, and order ahead.
Unfortunately, supply chain issues are predicted to worsen before they get better, which means acting quickly.
With the holiday season approaching, and customers starting gift-giving earlier than usual, it’s more important than ever to plan ahead.
By placing custom packaging orders now, you can ensure that products are fulfilled and shipped in a timely manner (while accounting for delays) and that they reach customers in time for the best experience possible.