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ROCKFORD • Together
District® Brand

Rockford residents (and tourists) can tell…
we're in this together!

Rockford: Still Smiling
POSTER • 12"x18" • Card Stock

Behind our masks, we're still smiling!
Show that you are, too.

The Paper Supply Chain Update. The Straight Truth.

I just placed an order for paper and cardstock with our paper supplier and, boy, what a challenge it was! Most of the loveliest economical cardstocks we have been using for the past 8.5 years are now hard to find. More than an hour was spent researching other brands and types of stock in order to make an informed decision about how to be able to fulfill our current and upcoming orders. I think now is the time to inform our customers of this dilemma beginning to take hold in our neck of the woods. Following, is part of a news piece I found on the PGAMA (Printing & Graphics Association MidAtlantic) website. The entire piece can be found at

No single issue is impacting the printing industry more than the shortage of paper and the significant rise in costs when stock is available. So, on behalf of our print members, we wanted to ask the experts, where we are, how we got there and what does 2022 and beyond look like for our industry. On February 3, 2022. Upwards of 60 participants from over 35 different companies took part in a webinar hosted by Tony Golden of Lindenmeyr-Munroe Paper Co with presentations by Gilbert Goodworth of Domtar Paper and Mike Robinson of Verso.

While we are facing unprecedented challenges, the seeds for our current situation were planted years ago as demand for all grades of printing paper started to fall. The response on the part of the mills was to close some, reduce capacity at others, take machines offline, and in some cases, repurpose machines to produce products in growing segments like packaging. So, when demand increased in the latter part of 2020 and throughout 2021, at a time of lower overall capacity, unprecedented stress was put on the supply chain and that pressure included pulp, chemicals related to papermaking, and even things like lumber and nails for pallets used in the shipping of paper. It seemed that everything that could be a problem, became one.


Currently, almost every mill is on allocation/reservation. There had been a ten-year, or more, lessening of demand for printing papers that the pandemic only exacerbated. While we are facing the perfect storm of chemical, pulp, pallet supply, shipping challenges, and Covid 19’s effect on workforce, demand increased and affected all grades of sheets and web grades.

At the time of this webinar, no mill can allocate 100% of past usage to their customers, and thus the guessing game each month is how much can the mill supply. It can be as low as 60% and there is little light at the end of the tunnel for the foreseeable future. All the experts on the webinar stressed that paper machine efficiency is critical and that all machines, coated and uncoated, are running beyond the safe range for sustainability. To add to the difficulties, some machines may have to go offline in 2022 for maintenance. Everything related to the manufacturing and bringing to market of paper has risen significantly since the start of the pandemic.

What can you do? Plan ahead with your clients, order well in advance, be flexible about grades and finishes and prepare for a challenging 2022. At present, there is little light at the end of the tunnel but be assured that the merchants and the mills are doing everything they can to help their customers thrive in, what continues to be unprecedented times!!

(616) 884-5680
509 Wolverine Street
Rockford, MI 49341
Mon-Fri: 9-5
Closed Weekends