German printing businesses complain of graphic paper supply bottlenecks

Paper supply in print shops it getting tight
Paper supply in print shops it getting tight
02 Aug 2021 − 

German printing companies are reporting a shortage of graphic paper supply, which is hampering recovery and threatens to accelerate digitalisation.

The German printing and media industries federation (Bvdm) has reported an alarming shortage of graphic paper: Member companies do not receive paper deliveries from their suppliers at all, or only after considerable delays, the federation stated. These shortages add to the difficulties already inflicted on the media industry by the coronavirus pandemic.

Current paper supply bottlenecks are increasingly a central problem that many printing houses are facing. Although in most cases production is only affected to a limited extent at present, in individual cases the bottlenecks have already caused production interruptions of up to 20 per cent. However, most importantly the situation is expected to aggravate in the near and medium-term future.

According to Dr Paul Albert Deimel, Bvdm chief executive, it is “enormously frightening” for the companies concerned that after so many tough months caused by the pandemic, business recovery is burdened because framework agreements with customers cannot be fulfilled, or individual orders must be rejected.

The industry federation is convinced that the bottlenecks have their primary origin in high global demand for pulp and recovered paper coupled with lacking logistics capacities caused by the pandemic.

Since declining demand for graphic paper led to a reduction in production capacities in Germany and Europe, price competition for paper is now even fiercer.

The Bvdm fears this development could also accelerate the move from print to digital. As there is no reason to expect a short-term improvement of the situation, the federation believes one can only appeal to all parties involved to intensify their cooperation and maintain customer confidence through thorough communication.     

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