In supply chains throughout the United States and around the world, labor shortages and pandemic-related delays continue to drive costs and lower service performance. Here at home, where resin availability has always defined the market for industrial packaging, we now find ourselves beholden to pallet, core, cradle, corrugate and other raw material supply pinch points. Of course, rising costs for transportation remains problematic as well. The breadth and depth of these service and supply bottlenecks are certainly not unique to the B2B industrial packaging business.
All eyes are now on ocean freight, the latest and perhaps most dramatic cost hotspot yet. Port congestion and pandemic-related workforce setbacks have affected the availability of an already insufficient container fleet, partially curtailed during the height of the pandemic and late in its recovery. New and more robust global consumption patterns have complicated the prospects of relief. Additional container ships are not expected until 2023. In the meantime, delays and a lack of capacity are reshaping the business of importing. Over just the last few months, ocean freight costs doubled and then doubled again.
All Laddawn imported stock items in this catalog have increased 12% in price, on average. Laddawn-made and other domestically sourced stock items have increased 6%.
You should know that Laddawn’s imported inventory position is strong. Decades-long partnerships with global producers helps, of course, as does stocking in five locations. We enter the fall and winter seasons well-stocked on imported Layflat and Gusseted bags, Reclosables, and all Mail & Ship items, including Poly Mailers, Lip & Tape bags, Packing List Envelopes and Suffocation Warning bags. Don’t forget, we recently added to our Mail & Ship offering with a number of domestically produced PCR content Poly Mailers and Merchandise bags, too.
For America’s packaging distributors, an improving U.S. labor force remains the key to more stable costs and service performance. We remain optimistic. At home and at work, slowly but surely, we continue to see steady gains in service performance. Here at Laddawn, as more people reenter the workforce, service is improving, too. Thank you for the patience and support that makes these gains possible.
On behalf of all of us in Atlanta, Dallas, Devens, Manchester, Sparks and Sterling, thank you for your business.