An update on cardboard box shortages (November 2021)

03 November 2021

An update on cardboard box shortages (November 2021)

Early this year and throughout 2020 we reported on growing supply chain problems affecting the manufacturing and distribution of cardboard boxes throughout the UK.

Our Managing Director Mike Sadler was interviewed in February this year by Reuters for the international press, where he voiced his concerns about shocking lead times on new boxes, as well as unprecedented frequent and sharp price rises.

Unfortunately the problem appears to be rearing its ugly head again. This quarter in the run-up to Christmas is always challenging but where we’d usually see lead times of a few days, we’re now looking at a wait of more than eight weeks for new boxes from the manufacturer, meaning it’s unlikely that supply can keep up with demand for Christmas shopping.

What does this mean for our customers?

We’re encouraging customers who typically buy brand new boxes to switch to used alternatives, which are cheaper, more sustainable and available quickly.

For instance, here are three swaps that could be made straight away depending on requirements:

  • Swap AC165 for AD653 (available seasonally) and save 26p per box*
  • Swap ST124 for AG016 and save 67p per box*
  • Swap ST025 for AF999 and save 76p per box*

Watch our latest video to see what Mike was concerned about back in February and how things are looking now. 

For our historical commentary on this problem see:

April 2020 - Media reports cardboard box shortage
February 2021 - Is there really another cardboard box shortage?
March 2021 - Cardboard box prices increase again

*price comparisons correct as of November 3rd 2021