The last two years have proved to be an extremely challenging period of time for the print industry. Raw Material shortages and multiple price increases, combined with staff shortages caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, created arduous circumstances for all businesses involved in our industry. From printers themselves, to freight companies and suppliers of key raw materials, all were adversely affected.
After over two years experiencing the challenges that the global pandemic presented, the more optimistic amongst us had hoped that 2022 would present some stabilization in the print supply chain, however, as we move in to the second quarter of the year, this stabilization is yet to materialize, and is unlikely in the near future whilst the tragic events in Ukraine continue to develop.
Not only are the trials of the Covid-19 pandemic still with us, but rising inflation, increasing fuels costs, huge demand for packaging of all types and a global energy crisis have further increased the burdens faced by suppliers to the print industry. These increases, in some cases, have been so astronomic that it is not possible for any supplier to absorb, and ultimately, the increased costs have been passed down the supply chain.
Tony Lord President of Flint’s Offset Packaging Solutions division, said “the strain of the long-standing supply chain challenges, brought about by the global pandemic and exacerbated by current rates of inflation, fuel and energy increases can be felt industry wide. Raw materials continue to suffer from increased demand and an exponential increase in pricing. The last two years have created a perfect storm for supply chain disruption and rapid price increases. In a time when the industry expected to enter in to recovery mode, it is near impossible to predict when we might begin to see some relief to the pressure placed on our industry.”
As a result of the continued rising costs, Flint OPS has no choice but to announce further price increases. Lord stated that, “it is with the utmost regret that we are forced to announce further price increases, as we fully understand the difficult climate our customers are operating in. We are as hopeful, as all other print related businesses are, that we will soon experience more stable supply chain conditions, however in the meantime, increases imposed on our business have created a situation where continuing to sell our products at our current price level is simply not sustainable”.