- March 01, 2011, Yolanda Simonsis Associate Publisher/Editor
In August 1944, just two months past the June 6 Normandy Invasion that took place on what became known as D-Day, The Converter — one of several title predecessors to PFFC — published its first supplier/converter directory. It came in four segments: Specialty and Converted Papers; Envelope and Bag; Folding and Set-Up Box; and Converted and Specialty Paper Products. Every year since then, PFFC has published a directory of materials, supplies, services, and equipment. We hope you'll agree that producing such an annual Buyers Guide has been a process worth perfecting over all these years. You won't find any other more comprehensive source of converting supply than right here. Keep it handy. I do, so I can respond to that most-often-called-in question: “Where can I find…?”
The inspiration for PFFC's first Buyers Guide was intriguing, so I looked further into our history and observed some similarities between then and now. Judging from past issues of PFFC, materials in 1944 were pretty scarce — particularly paper — compliments of WWII.
In addition, there was a loss of skilled labor, and costs kept climbing to the point that the OPA (Office of Price Administration) had to take control.
Fast forward to 2011, a mere 67 years later, and here the world stands on the threshold of exiting not another world war but a global economic recession that most recently seems to have inspired, at least in part, movements toward the adoption of democratic governments. Facebook and Twitter can be credited in some capacity for the mobilization of thousands of repressed citizens seeking political freedoms, but maybe the timing was simply ripe for change.
The movements have influenced, due to the loss of oil production, an increasing number of price increases as well. While the US converting industry is oceans apart from the political unrest in the Middle East and Northern Africa, impact of the unrest is resulting here in an abundance of price increase announcements found on any number of media distribution channels, including PFFC-online.com. Instead of paper, PET film is now scarce.
Surcharges to cover fuel costs for some suppliers and converters were not eliminated in many cases — even when fuel costs somewhat diminished since the last $4+ per gallon event in 2008. One company, Pregis's North American Protective Packaging business, announced in a press release on March 9 that it was implementing an “8% price increase, effective April 1. Additionally, the previously implemented fuel surcharge will continue on all products sold in North America.”
The company's global president, Kevin Baudhuin, explained, “Raw material price increases are compressing operating margins to an unsustainable level. Immediate recovery of a portion of these soaring costs is necessary so that Pregis can continue developing innovative solutions designed to help its customers grow.”
Since 1944 PFFC's Buyers Guide remains your resource for finding answers.
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