Navigating the challenges of lead times and demand

Navigating the challenges of lead times and demand

Veritiv Packaging | September 27, 2021

In the past 18 months, supply chains across the globe were tested like never before. The packaging industry was tested, too, by increased consumer and industrial demand, strained supply chains, extended lead times for both raw materials and finished packaging and crippling labor shortages.

For those who make packaging, it’s been rough. And for those who rely on packaging, even rougher.

Trying times like these remind us to turn to package professionals to help us make sense of what’s going on. Veritiv recently brought together four packaging pros, asking them to weigh in on the current state of packaging and how organizations can best navigate the still-troubling supply chain waters.

The 45-minute discussion with our experts, available now on-demand, was moderated by Michael Parks, a manufacturing and LEAN packaging thought leader from Veritiv, and featured these guests:

  • Matt Smythe, from Berry Global, one of the world's leaders in resin-based packaging. He has 25+ years of experience in the packaging industry and is an expert on stretch film and converters.
  • Darryl Gee, with Lantech, the leader in packaging automation. He has nearly 30 years of global experience in the packaging equipment industry, including startups in Asia and Europe.
  • Lloyd Kennedy, Veritiv’s expert on the corrugated and packaging supply chain. He’s an industry-recognized expert on the corrugated supply chain and leads our category efforts for fiber products and automation solutions.

Highlights from the webinar

Our experts discussed the status of packaging-dependent supply chains, the impact on key materials, mitigation strategies and options to help overcome labor shortages.

Key takeaways from our expert roundtable:

COVID-19’s impact continues. The pandemic affected the supply of raw materials and finished goods in every industry and every country of the world. Its impact is still felt today, and our experts shared specifics on what improved and what hasn’t.

Labor shortages span multiple industries. Employee layoffs and furloughs created severe issues, and businesses still struggle to find skilled workers so their manufacturing can ramp up. For businesses running behind on leading automation strategies, these worker shortages are even more painful.

Packaging material costs go up. The cost of raw materials, such as kraft liner, increased this year and may inch higher by year-end. Polyethylene prices were up 74% higher than last year.

Interest in online shopping isn’t waning. There's been an 8.3% increase in fulfillment by Amazon box shipments, reflecting consumers’ continued preference for ecommerce.

Consumers choose paper over plastic. Many major consumer packaged goods companies decided to increase their paperboard usage, reducing a dependence on plastics, which caused paper suppliers to scramble.

Packaging automation gains new favor. The demand for automated solutions is growing, with worker shortages, production backlogs and increased product demand fueling the interest.

Watch the webinar now.

If you’re responsible for purchasing or inventorying packaging supplies, don’t miss Veritiv’s Navigating the Challenges of Lead Times and Increased Demand webinar. You’ll benefit from hearing our experts’ perspectives and pointers and their projections for what’s in store in the months to come.