Antalis’ Head of Business Development for Packaging, John Garner, urges packaging and logistics businesses to talk to their packaging providers now and plan and prepare for what may be another challenging year. Antalis is a Kokusai Pulp & Paper Group member, a worldwide leader in distributing papers, packaging, and visual communication media, based in Japan and operating in 31 countries. In Europe and Latin America, Antalis is the leading B2B distributor of products and services in papers and industrial packaging. It is number two in the distribution of visual communication media, with global reported sales of €2.1 billion (Rs 14,500 crore) in 2019. The company’s headquarters are in Paris, France.
Covid-19 has brought about an acceleration in the transition to online purchasing. The pandemic has had a significant impact on packaging as the need for businesses to get orders out of the door quickly became a priority.
However, the market is presently experiencing a shortage in obtaining cardboard boxes and corrugated board for deliveries. There is a delay in getting pulp fibers back into the recycling chain to make packaging boxes and corrugated board. This and other factors hitting the supply chain combine 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. “While 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 Garner.
Garner 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, the 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 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, Garner is quick to reassure that there can be solutions to the current situation, such as using alternative packaging materials, innovative packaging design to minimize material use and just good planning that considers the present challenges. “Antalis is renowned for finding packaging solutions, whether this is a bespoke pack design, more efficient box size or shape, or the use of new packaging materials. We have a vast range of specialist products to support businesses in getting goods out of the door, from packaging boards, boxes, void fill, pallets, and 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 for their challenges.”
Garner concludes, “2021 is going to be an interesting year for all sorts of reasons. Availability and lead times are extended, shortage of materials and backlogs at ports are all compounding 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.”
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