Gloomy Paper Forecast: Availability, Pricing Remain Concerns
When COVID-19 swept through the world in the spring of 2020, no one imagined it would linger this long. Nor that it would spawn a host of challenges print providers continue to struggle with today. Chief among those challenges is the ongoing struggle to obtain enough paper to actually run jobs.
Dean Hart, president of MWI Direct in Lincoln, Neb., notes that in his 30 years of buying paper as a printer, he has seen some tight markets — but never anything like this. Paper, he says, is “historically a stable product; it doesn’t change rapidly in pricing. But this year has seen significant increases just as a function of the demand; it spiked so high, and has continued to be more and more difficult as time has gone on.”
In this article, we’re sharing how the global supply chain disruption has affected various printers, how the allocation system has stifled expansion plans, and more. For those printers struggling to just find enough paper to meet deadlines and fulfill customer jobs, we’re also highlighting six paper buying tips for a tight market.
Toni McQuilken is the senior editor for the printing and packaging group.