In early January 2021, DLS, a label converter, warned distributors of the delays raw material providers were experiencing in getting label stock produced on time, and how the demand was far exceeding supplier capacity.
They highly recommended end-user customers be notified of the current industry disruptions and urged to order early, at least one month ahead for standard thermal transfer and direct thermal label needs, citing transportation issues related to trucks and drivers adding in product and shipment delays.
DLS is once again warning distributors of the supply chain issues for their raw materials caused by COVID-19.
While costs on items like corrugated cartons and plastic bags have been on the rise since mid-2020, they are admitting that cost increases are now moving to affect raw materials. So far, increases have only affected certain stock items, but DLS believes that it is only a matter of time before other stocks increase as well, leading to price increases for all stock and custom products that they supply.
DLS also warns of shipping costs increases in the foreseeable future due to soaring freight costs. Record high backlogs have doubled lead times for thermal transfer (TT) and direct thermal (DT) stocks while lead times for specialty materials are expected to triple. Ultimately, this has caused their own lead times to lengthen to the point of advising customers to plan for 15 to 20 day lead times on standard orders.
The label converter advises that the supply chain and freight issues will be ongoing and do not look like they will be resolved any time soon. For these reasons, it is imperative that distributors notify customers about upcoming price increases and place orders as soon as possible, the earlier the better.