The massive momentum in deliveries – which require boxes to facilitate the orders – does not appear to be slowing even as the pandemic shows signs of subsiding.
Therefore, the need for cardboard boxes and all the products that go into the manufacturing of such, remains at a high level.
Ever wonder what “corrugated” means? We’re not 100% sure, either, but material called corrugate is at the root of the box-scarcity problem.
Corrugate can’t be produced quickly enough.
In a Fox story, the example of Welch Packaging in Elkart, Ind., shows the impact.
“We’re operating three shifts, full time,” Welch Packing Vice President Andy Reith told Fox Business. “And we run about eight million square feet every day.”
The story lists numbers from 2020, when more than 407 billion square feet of corrugated material was produced.
Today, the problem is the mills where the paper is made.
“There has been a tremendous backlog,” Reith said. “We used to be able to get paper in a week. Now it’s taking six to eight weeks to get this roll stock.”
For a look at how the proverbial sausage is made, one first must consider the sheer size of the overall operation.
From Fox: “The facility is filled with massive paper rolls which are fed through a corrugator the size of a football field to produce the boxes.”
Business in the U.S. found a tremendous increase in delivery requests over the past 12 months, owing to the lockdowns inspiring orders for food and other products.
The pandemic caused a huge boom in online shopping, too, with Amazon realizing incredible gains in revenue.
The Fox story cites the company’s 2020 third-quarter earnings at a record high of $96.1 billion in sales, a 37% increase over the same period in 2019.