Posted on 02/02/22 by Rob Lucas

Label Material Delays: A Global Issue

Since the summer of 2021, supply chain issues have hit the headlines – both in the UK and globally.  As the public, we have experienced the effects – increasing prices, delayed deliveries, our favourites at the supermarket being out of stock, and who could forget the petrol fiasco?

As people in business, and specifically as label buyers, you will have noticed similar issues in your section of the supply chain and it’s likely to continue into the second quarter of 2022.

For Hine, and the label printing industry as a whole, this global issue is affecting the supply of our raw materials – glassine, vellum and coated paper, and specialty papers.

Why are the delays happening?

It’s a collection of different things. And it’s complex.  It’s a combination of market demand, plant shutdowns due to storms and strikes, port closures due to COVID-19, or restrictions due to Brexit, and delays in China where most of the world’s chemicals are made.

Much is happening as industries try to bounce back and stabilise an economy at the tail-end of a global pandemic.  We all talk about industries and businesses surviving over the past two years, but there’s still a bit more of that road we all need to travel.

There’s a workers’ strike at UPM in Finland – who are suppliers-to-the-suppliers in the pulp and paper industry.  They’ve been shut down for almost eleven weeks and have now extended the strike, for a fifth time, to April 16th. While our suppliers are working on securing alternative sources, the extending strike is impacting supply capability for all.

This same strike is disrupting the supply of our raw materials – glassine, vellum and coated paper, and specialty papers. The whole label and printing industry is impacted due to these pulp and paper shortages, leading to the fluctuating prices of papers, films and adhesive.

As always, your support and understanding is much appreciated!


Update 07/02/2022 – Original report indicated strike at UPM in Finland was extended to February 19th. New information issued 07/02/2022 reported strike is now extended to March 12th.

Update 25/02/2022 – New information issued 07/02/2022 at 14:20 alerted us to a new extension on the strike at UPM Finland. Now extended to 2nd April.

Update 16/03/2022 – Article from PrintWeek. The strike is now extended to 16th April.

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