A British specialized publisher has sent a tweet talking about the shortage of paper in Europe and how it already affects the edition for the Christmas campaign: if you follow a couple of publishers or a few people linked to the world of books, the tweet will have featured prominently in the last few hours on the Twitter feed. As they explain, all the paper for printing is sold in Europe and nothing new will arrive until next year.

In the responses, they are told that it has been one of the themes that has dominated at the Frankfurt literary fair. For the industry, this is a major problem, because the Christmas season is an important moment.

The problem has been announced in one way or another for weeks, showing that stock crises can touch anyone . In September, independent American bookstores were already recommending their customers to get the books they wanted for Christmas now, on pain of failing to reach them during key shopping weeks. But all this paper crisis is linked to something that goes far beyond the book: not only the paper for printing books – with specific and specific characteristics – is in trouble, but so is cardboard.

That can make the problems for the holiday season not just affect the book industry. They can be a drag when creating product packaging – any product – and also a serious problem for e-commerce. Ecommerce relies heavily on cardboard, which is the packaging in which you send your purchases.

The cardboard climb
The US market, as happened with the crisis of the book paper, is the one that is giving the alarm signals. The United States is already running out of cardboard, they explain in Insider , which makes sending purchases online much more complicated.

The inventory of packaging material has been reduced week after week, due to bottlenecks in the global supply chain (some tweets about the situation in US ports have gone viral these days). The situation is not, however, new.

As they recall from the US media, Amazon was already storing extra cardboard in January and in February the prices of packaging cardboard reached a figure of all-time highs. In July, one of the main cardboard suppliers in that market issued an alert that they were at “severely low” levels of cardboard. As all of this was going on, consumers were increasing their consumption in the post-pandemic rebound.

This made the situation even more complicated. The expectations for the end of the year make it even more difficult. The Christmas campaign is coming, when you buy a lot, but also this year online shopping spikes are expected.

It’s not just a problem with cardboard
Therefore, the industry will have to look for alternatives that cover what until now was done with cardboard boxes, but also begin to prepare for possible failures in other materials beyond cardboard.

The European metals industry has already warned that there is an imminent risk of production stoppage because there is no magnesium, which comes from China at 95%. This may impact the production of aluminum, iron and steel, something that goes beyond packaging but will also affect this industry.

You only have to go around a supermarket looking for products with aluminum foil in their packaging to see it. In fact, in addition to cardboard prices, plastic materials prices have also risen . “I think this Christmas season will open everyone’s eyes,” Andrew Hogenson, one of the global partners at Infosys Consulting, predicted on American television.

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