As a leader in the hospitality industry, Front Desk Supply stays on top of the latest trends that impact the livelihoods of our customers’ businesses. One key element affecting our customers due to the global supply chain crisis is the paper supply shortage. Paper products – especially specialty stocks – are in short supply right now. Instead of being fearful of the changing industry, it’s best to understand what’s going on so you can better navigate it.
Paper Supply Shortage Explained
The printing and paper industry is feeling the full effects of the global supply chain crisis. Paper shortages have occurred in the past years but never anything like this. Within our network, we have found that many mills have moved their production capabilities from printing paper to liner board – for packaging – while also closing their least productive mill operations.
When the pandemic hit in early 2020, workers were already in short supply. As COVID-19 spread global supply chain issues erupted around the world. Delays created a growing demand for paper which came in at an unprecedented rate, and domestic paper mills couldn’t keep up. Before long, the mills oversold their capabilities, and their systems were not designed to deal with the demand and this ultimately led to the paper supply shortage we are seeing today. Further, some mid-sized mills went out of business during covid, further reducing overall capacity.
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Paper Supply Shortage at Present
Now there is an uptick in the demand for print; however, the domestic mills cannot keep up with the demand without the help of imports. The global supply chain impacts all that are connected to it. As a result, the European and Asian mills are in the same boat – perhaps worse. With inflated costs for containers and overall shipping charges rising exorbitantly, the issue continues to worsen. All of these factors (mills, demand, global supply chain) continue to play a key role in what has already become an enormous pricing nightmare.
It is essentially the perfect storm and is like nothing that we’ve seen before in the paper industry. Current manufacturing conditions at mills include reductions in allocations and limited access to what used to be in-stock inventory. In addition, we are still experiencing the temporary suspension on entering new orders at many mills. All of this is happening as the mills try to get caught up and replenish inventories of all types of paper. That also means that the price of paper products won’t be going down any time soon.
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Final Words from Front Desk Supply
While we cannot speak for others, we can say that our inventory is feeling the grip of this global issue but we are prepared with much stock on hand. Other hotel supply companies are seeing replenishment dates that are difficult to get down. Outlooks range from 30-days to 120-days and some even further. Our advice is to have a contingency plan in place for your hotel paper products and maybe juggle in-stock papers. Have more than one option for your paper supply needs and try not to put all of your eggs in one basket. We are doing our best to order larger quantities of popular stocks to be sure customers have some good options should their stock be out of stock, delayed, or discontinued.
Nonetheless, we want our customers to be informed and prepared for the challenging times ahead. Hoteliers should know that paper will continue to be in short supply in the months ahead!
Interested in paper supply products? Talk to our team for more information.
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Front Desk Supply is a leading hotel supplier for the hospitality industry. We offer a wide range of hotel supply products, such as custom pens, hotel key cards, key card sleeves, and more. From boutique hotels to nationwide hotel chains, we have a selection of generic hotel supplies and offer custom hotel supply orders.