2021 has seen price increases on corrugated board come one after another, at an unusually quick rate. The shortage of corrugated material is having a huge impact on the cost of raw materials. As a result, new cardboard boxes and corrugated packaging are becoming much more expensive for businesses to acquire.
The price increases have come about due to many factors which we have already written about, for example, disruptions to recycling during the first COVID-19 lockdown, changes to consumer behaviour with more cardboard boxes ending up in homes, and Brexit which caused delays at the borders and sudden changes to rules surrounding importing and exporting goods and materials. It’s the ‘perfect storm’ that isn’t letting up any time soon – supply isn’t meeting demand quickly enough, so prices are continuing to climb.
We have been notified by our suppliers that there is another cost increase coming in May on brand new boxes, which comes after the handful of increases we’ve already seen this year. It is no longer a good strategy for businesses to use and rely on newly manufactured boxes for all of their packaging material. Not only is the cost becoming unpredictable and prohibitive, but it’s not environmentally friendly while there are suitable (and cheaper) alternatives.
What are the alternatives?
Redundant / Surplus Cardboard Boxes
If you pack and ship products that require new boxes for hygiene purposes (as the main example for preferring new), consider redundant cardboard boxes. These are brand new boxes that were made for a specific reason and then not required. This could be due to a printing error, an abandoned product line or a company that has gone bust or has been unable to sell the products that the boxes were intended for. Redundant boxes are classed as ‘new’ on our website but we’ll usually write in the description whether they are redundant / surplus boxes or not, allowing you to differentiate between them. If you’re not sure and it’s important to you, you can always get in touch to check.
Once-Used Cardboard Boxes
If you don’t mind that your boxes have been utilised already, then used boxes are an incredible way to save money on your packaging. More and more businesses are seeking out second hand boxes to lower their environmental impact, so used boxes are actually a very attractive alternative not only for the cost savings that they offer. You don’t need to worry about the quality as we hand-sort each and every used box that comes through our warehouse. Any damaged boxes are recycled, and all other reusable boxes are put onto pallets and sold to our customers.
So cardboard box shortages are still ongoing, prices are going up, but there are much better alternatives! Get searching through our product range to find the right box for you, or give us a call if you'd like to talk to our sales team.