The value of the humble cardboard box is on the rise, with demand for deliveries and online shopping not slowing down as the coronavirus pandemic nears an end.
Materials needed to make cardboard boxes, called corrugate, cannot be produced quickly enough, and facilities like Welch Packaging in Elkart, Indiana are feeling the impact of triple the work and not enough supplies.
“We’re operating three shifts, full time,” Welch Packing Vice President Andy Reith told FOX Business’ Jeff Flock. “And we run about eight million square feet every day.”
In 2020 alone, the industry produced more than 407 billion square feet of corrugated material due to heightened demand – enough to completely cover the states of Connecticut and New Jersey.
Reith explained that the bottleneck holding back box production can be traced to the mills where the paper is made.
“There has been a tremendous backlog,” he said. “We used to be able to get paper in a week. Now it’s taking six to eight weeks to get this roll stock.”
The facility is filled with massive paper rolls which are fed through a corrugator the size of a football field to produce the boxes.
The coronavirus pandemic caused a huge boom in online shopping particularly from digital retail giant Amazon. The company’s 2020 third-quarter earnings reached a record high of $96.1 billion in sales, a 37% increase over the same period in 2019.
FOX Business’ Jeff Flock and Lucas Manfredi contributed to this report.