Are we in for another toilet paper shortage?
Experts warn that the global shipping container crisis can have dire consequences. Let’s see what this means for the toilet paper industry.
This started even before the Suez blockage—when space on container ships started to become scarce because of bottlenecks caused by the pandemic. Firms that produce raw materials for the production of toilet paper said that they had to delay shipments.
Toilet Paper Shortage Caused by Suez Canal Blockage
The recent Suez Canal blockage comes a year after tissue roll shortage became a symbol of Covid-19’s first wave, and will only end up making the situation worse.
Walter Schalka, the owner of a firm called Suzano SA that produces the wood pulp used for making toilet paper, said that shipping problems had already forced his company to delay some shipments from its South American terminals. This, in turn, might result in toilet roll manufacturers and paper manufacturers running out of wood pulp, ultimately causing fresh shortages on supermarket shelves.
A surge in online shopping and a Chinese export boom are some of the factors that have led to the global container shortage. Suzano, the Brazil-based wood pulp firm, currently relies on shipping that transports the raw material in loose quantities or ‘break bulk’. However, as firms compete for space on container ships, break-bulk shipping is failing to persist and do what’s required to sustain the model.
In 2020, pulp producers had warned that border closures in Europe were causing transport logjams that delayed shipments of the raw material. Producers such as Finland’s Metsä Fibre and Sweden’s Södra Cell International said at the time that trucks of pulp were stuck in traffic jams for hours and even days.
Logistics demand had already been outstripping capacity before the Suez incident.
Supply chains were already under pressure, and a large container ship has now blocked one of world trade’s major routes. This means that container shipping has been pushed towards an aggravated crisis.
Freights from China to major European ports are over USD 8000 per 40 ft. HC, thereby imposing extra charges on low-value commodities as well! We hope through 2021, the freights regularise and the industry is blessed with no further incidents that could lead to disruptions.
Know more about the paper alternatives.