When will those corrugated cardboard prices come back down?
It simply doesn’t happen that the prices of corrugated increase without a corresponding increase in the material itself. But COVID has made just that happen.
And even when you plan for the usual price increases, you still have intense pressure to keep corrugated cardboard’s costs in check.
Here’s some more actions you can take to drive down the costs of corrugated cardboard right now:
1. Consolidate Your Own SKUs
Not only will reducing your own SKUs decrease the costs of corrugated cardboard, but it helps with your own inventory control too.
Which SKUs have you thought about dumping for a long time, but have just never taken the action to eliminate?
2. Audit Your Supply Sources
Whether you work with a distributor or the actual corrugated cardboard manufacturer, make sure that they use the latest manufacturing machinery.
Suppliers and distributors are keenly aware of the increasing costs. And the smart, proactive ones will have the most efficient machinery and manufacturing processes in place to keep and increase their market share.
Have conversations with your current supply sources so you understand if they’re optimizing their own processes to keep your costs in check as much as possible.
3. Consider Alternative Packaging
Sometimes, the simplest solution is the best. You may just have to use less corrugated cardboard.
This may come at a bit of a trade-off. You might need to use packaging that requires more labor.
But, it may be all that you can do. Or, it might be the fastest way to keep costs down while you work on longer-term solutions.
Waiting is the hardest thing to do in the on-the-go world of American business. But, it might actually be a viable option, despite increases in corrugated cardboard’s price so far here in 2021.
Companies are mobilizing to meet the increased demand.
International Paper Company, for example, told the Wall Street Journal that it is spending $440 million to convert a paper machine mill in Jackson, Alabama so it can produce linerboard.
5. Compare Distributors
Now might be the time to have conversations with a half-dozen corrugated cardboard distributors or so.
Some understand how to buy corrugated cardboard in ways that don’t cause your prices to fluctuate as wildly.
They know that corrugated’s price will continue to rise. And they also know that their competition will be working hard to earn your business.
So they have ample motivation to keep your prices down.
The corrugated cardboard market just isn’t easy. But at least you have options.
And now that you have some ideas, you can create your own strategy, and hopefully keep your corrugated cardboard prices in check.