How COVID-19, Online Shopping Are Driving Demand for Packaging to an All-Time High
Before COVID, online shopping was on the rise, but once the pandemic hit, online shopping became a way of life for many. As a result, the demand for packaging so that products can be shipped to customers’ homes, rose sharply and today, it remains at an all-time high.
“It’s been a little over 18 months since the onset of COVID, and the shutdown started happening. People got used to doing their shopping online, and they’re still doing it, whether for convenience or because they don’t want to be out in the public space,” explained Nicole DeJoris, president of Pinnacle Packaging.
Beginning in the late 1990s, online shopping has grown to the point where today, people have—and still are—changing their buying habits. They have discovered that it is extremely convenient, they can find a bigger selection, more options, and better pricing online.
This has only increased the number of packages sent to consumers and has made a tremendous impact on the amount of packaging supplies needed to keep the supply chain moving.
As the online shopping trend keeps its current pace, DeJoris explained that its impact on brick-and-mortar stores has resulted in many of them closing and moving to an online model only. It wasn’t long before businesses discovered that they could utilize online sales to drive profitability and reduce overhead.
As pressure and demand increase for online stores to meet consumers’ demands for goods, it also affects their suppliers, who are struggling to hire the number of workers they need to keep up with demand, not to mention growing.
When companies are unable to produce even the minimum the industry needs, it becomes a snowball that grows in size as it rolls downhill.
Those in need of packaging materials are hyperaware of the challenges in the current environment. Their suppliers are seeing shortages in raw materials used to make the products they rely on, which is exacerbated for small to medium companies who don’t have the purchasing power of large companies like Amazon, who get their orders fulfilled first.
When challenges come together this way, it also drives up prices. Added to that are the increases in freight charges due to greater demand and a shortage of labor.
“Prices have gone up significantly over the past year to year-and-a-half,” she said. “I anticipate an increase of anywhere from a 7-14% increase in plastics, 3-5% in adhesives, and corrugated paper goes up about every two months and will be going up another 10% this month.”
Prices rising is due to this perfect storm of shortages in labor and raw materials together with an increase in demand. For those who are struggling to get packaging, especially branded packaging, DeJoris suggested using plain boxes with tape that has your company branding.
Regardless of which avenue clients choose, it is advisable to make sure to order packaging supplies as soon as possible.
“Holiday packaging design should begin in January while ordering for general supply should be done at least seven months ahead,” she recommended.
The preceding press release was provided by a company unaffiliated with Packaging Impressions. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of Packaging Impressions.