Paper & Envelope Shortage

Tips to help you get through the shortage

First, let’s start by answering the question, “why is there a shortage of paper?” As in any large industry, it’s complicated. At the start of the pandemic, businesses hunkered down and the demand for paper slowed. Events stopped. Conferences were put on hold. Businesses temporarily shut down and companies slowed their marketing programs. Paper mills reacted by slowing production and using up existing inventories. Warehouse supplies dwindled. Then some paper mills began to close. 

Now that the economy has ramped back up again, demand for paper has skyrocketed. Getting the warehouses filled backup with paper takes time. Meanwhile, transportation and gas costs have gone up. Pulp prices have also increased. Paper coming from overseas is getting caught in the new challenges facing international shipping. To manage the situation as best they can, paper suppliers are rationing paper.

However, this doesn’t mean that your print projects need to be put on hold or cancelled. Keeping your print projects running smoothly and on time will simply take a little foresight, flexibility and creativity.

Here are a few tips to help

Be flexible. Paper is available. It just might not be the exact brightness, finish, or weight that you initially specified. Instead of a 98 brightness, for example, will a 95 brightness do? Or instead of a silk finish paper for that print on demand project, would a gloss work instead?

Try a new size or style. Instead of your usual letter format try a postcard or a self-mailer.

Plan, Plan. Planning as far in advance as possible, projecting out quantities taking into consideration anticipated lead times and placing orders to reserve stock.

Be Creative. Try new design formats or opt for kraft.  You might find more availability for a higher-grade stock.