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Finally Some Good News for the Label Supply Chain!

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It’s now official.  As of 4/22, UPM and the Paperworkers’ Union have agreed on a collective labor agreement for five UPM businesses (UPM Pulp, UPM Communication Papers, UPM Specialty Papers, UPM Raflatac and UPM Biofuels) and the strike has ended.  UPM has pledged to restart customer deliveries as soon as possible.


You can read more details about the agreement between UPM and the Paperworkers’ Union here.

Why Is This Important?
This strike has been dragging on for almost 4 months, and has been a major contributor to the “perfect storm” that has severely impacted the label industry’s supply chain.  It could not have come at a worse time – on top of the COVID pandemic and resulting lockdowns, labor shortages, transportation and logistics issues, inflation, and a surging demand for label products, a strike by a major supplier to the label market (liner and semi-gloss face sheet) has made a bad situation even worse.


How Will This Impact The Current Situation?
UPM resuming production and shipping is great news for our industry. However, it is anticipated that it will take months before the demand and order backlog starts to come down and we see any measurable impact to the current situation we find ourselves in. 

And while this is certainly good news, we are still dealing with all of the other issues that are afflicting our industry, including restrictions on material allocations, freight and transportation issues, and extended lead times.  Those are not going away any time soon - we expect to see continuing shortages and price increases throughout the year up to Q1 or Q2 of 2023.


Going Forward
So we are happy to report “some” good news, and we appreciate your flexibility and partnership as we navigate this supply chain situation together. We will keep you informed as the situation evolves, and hopefully be able to deliver more good news in the near future.  We will also continue to do everything in our power to manage these challenges and minimize the impact on your business.


Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.