Liner Board Cost Increases
The longest period of price stability in the corrugated box market in recent memory has (unfortunately) ended. The mills that manufacture kraft and motled white linerboard (the outside sheets on a corrugated box) have attempted to raise pricing for several months now, but sluggish manufacturing in the US and other market forces have held them back.
A $40 to $50 per ton increase was originally attempted this summer, which would have affected box and tray prices by as much as 8% to 10%. There were several delays and revisions to the effort, but now that increase has finally taken effect. Most corrugated box buyers across the US are seeing an 8% increase in their pricing effective late November or early December. RISI’s “Yellow Sheet” Pulp & Paper Week confirms that the increase has taken hold.
There are already rumors of another increase coming in the first quarter of 2017, but only time will tell if that increase will happen.
Atlas Negotiates Smaller Corrugated Pricing Increase
Atlas has leveraged its manufacturing relationships around the country and in most markets, has negotiated a lower increase than the standard 8% that most buyers are seeing. We are passing that leverage on to our customers.
Our pricing on custom-manufactured corrugated can trays, mother cartons, and retail boxes in most markets is increasing by approximately 6.5% on all orders.
Some Texas customers may see a full 8.0% increase because we’ve already passed through the efficiency we’ve achieved with our plants serving that market.
We apologize for the short notice, but we’ve been busy with our plants negotiating on our customers’ behalf. We decided that it would be better to announce a smaller increase later, than a larger increase sooner.
Our product circulars have been adjusted to the reflect this change, and reorders of custom-quoted cartons will be adjusted on an order by order basis.
If you would like a new product circular, a new custom quotation, or if you have any questions about the increase, please contact your Customer Service Representative or Account Manager
Freight Rates Improving
We know as well as you do that freight cost is always an important factor in an order, and (unlike some other distributors), we’ve never treated it as a profit center at Atlas.
We do have some good news, on the freight front, for a change: as our business grows and our network expands (and as fuel costs settle lower) freight costs are going down!
Thanks to the hard work and “big stick” wielded by Operations Manager Holly Ramsay, we’ve taken more control of our logistics and we have been able to lower customer freight costs on all our shipments. This is expecially true of corrugated shipments, which are shipping fewer miles at lower rates than we’ve seen over the last few years.
If freight has been a factor in your Atlas orders in the past, please give us a call and we’ll check rates for you. Freight costs are always changing, but right now they’re going in the right direction…down!
Atlas wants to thank all of our customers who’ve been with us as our corrugated carton and tray program has grown from a single point in the Midwest to a network of more than a dozen facilities spread throughout the US. We assure you that we’ll keep working with our network and with you to make further improvements in 2017.
December: $100 Credit on Printing Plates for Corrugated!
Those large polymer printing plates for mother cartons, can trays, and other corrugated items are a significant investment for any company. Did you know that many corrugated manufacturers mark up the cost of plates and tooling 30%, 40% or more?
At Atlas, our goal is to minimize that initial expenditure as much as possible, and to that end, and we’re constantly working directly with plate manufacturers to cut out that markup and keep the initial cost of a new box as low as possible.
We’ve made special arrangements with our primary printing plate manufacturer during their slower holiday time, and we are pleased to be able to offer a $100 credit on any order of new printing plates during the month of December 2016 when the order is accompanied by a custom box or tray order of $1,000 or more.