DONE: Very hard. I have been in the printing business for 40 years. Outside of a short time in the early 1980’s when paper for stock computer forms had a significant shortage and allocations occurred, I have never seen anything like the situation we are in right now. It is generational. Almost every one of our suppliers (who by-the-way, are all major companies in label lamination) have initiated allocations on material. Under these allocations, we can only purchase, at most, what we purchased a year ago, and none of the suppliers are accepting new volume. In other words, we can’t buy enough material to meet current demand from existing suppliers, and no raw material companies even want to take on more new volume. They are all slammed with business and are trying to get their arms around their blossoming backlogs.
I am receiving calls weekly for companies to source label material. Some of these requests have been significant, like a truckload of labels every three months. It kills me to turn away business. We are doing out best to mitigate the situation and we try to help everyone who calls. As I tell everyone, it does not matter what you produce or how important your product is to industry, if you do not have the proper label, you can’t ship. It your product does not ship, you can’t stay in business. It is that simple.