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Shift to online retailing is putting up price of cardboard packaging

The greater demand for packaging thanks to the shift to online retail is leading to a shortage of cardboard packaging that is putting up prices for retailers, according to one packaging supplier.

Jo Bradley, business development for packaging solutions at Quadient, warns that some paper and sheet board producers are rationing supply and prices are going up as a result. “The price of corrugated cardboard (OCC) has risen from around £60 a tonne in December 2020 to about £75.50 a tonne in late January 2021,” she said.

“Quite simply the switch to online retailing has resulted in a substantial and sustained hike in the amount of cardboard that is needed throughout the retail supply chain so, in the short to medium term at least, packaging buyers will have to cope with the ‘double whammy’ of longer lead times and higher prices.”

She called for ecommerce sellers to look carefully at whether they are fitting orders to the right size packaging, with around 30% wastage currently resulting from sellers shipping orders in oversized cardboard boxes. “It has never been more essential for retailers to reduce the amount of cardboard material that they use within their pack and despatch operation, and yet many continue to pack outbound orders in boxes that are way too big,” she said.

Image credits:
  • Quadient