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Thread: Supply chain- containers

  1. #1
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    Default Supply chain- containers

    So I have to put this out there- Just what the heck is going on in the packaging industry?.....Dealers havent gotten regular shipments in a year with no indications of when new shipments will be arriving. So how is the industry supposed to sell our product? It seems that with only 2 manufacturers of plastic jugs in North America we have finally been backed into a corner. Thoughts? Solutions?
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  2. #2
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    We just attended Bascom"s open house this weekend. My wife and daughter went to some maple cream and candy classes there. The person teaching the class told the audience that the maple industry is small compared to the other industries the packaging places supply. They have a severe labor shortage therefore they cater to their larger suppliers first, maple takes a back seat.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by wdchuck View Post
    So I have to put this out there- Just what the heck is going on in the packaging industry?.....Dealers havent gotten regular shipments in a year with no indications of when new shipments will be arriving. So how is the industry supposed to sell our product? It seems that with only 2 manufacturers of plastic jugs in North America we have finally been backed into a corner. Thoughts? Solutions?
    Yes this has been a challenging couple years for obtaining packaging. The reasons for these challenges are many and complicated and depend upon what types of packaging one is trying to acquire. Plastic jugs seem especially difficult and, as you point out, the fact that there are so few producers of jugs for the maple industry doesn't help.

    I don't think there is an easy solution on the production side as the whole marketplace for just about everything has shifted and until we are through the adjustment and resulting ripple effect, supply chain issues will persist. I suspect we will see issues for a while still...

    I think the best things a retail maple producer can do to manage this challenge include:

    Be flexible and willing to adapt.

    Transition away from maple suppliers to packaging suppliers and use several different suppliers that will work for you.

    Have back up options for different packaging than what you may be used to.

    Buy lots when you are able to get it. (I realize this is part of the issue but we do need to put product in packaging)

    Plastic jugs do present their own issues. One thing a producer can consider is spending the $$$ for custom labels that will fit on a variety of blank jug options. Blanks are way easier to get from every manufacturer. Printing the jug has become a major bottleneck (for a variety of reasons) so if you eliminate that need, it does help.

    Another thing to consider is the willingness to consider modifying quantities. For instance, selling four quarts as a gallon...etc...

    What an individual retail producer does will depend lots on their given needs and markets so these are just some thoughts from my perspective.

    I guess one silver lining to all this is that there are lots fewer folks out there selling their syrup in jugs for bulk prices!
    Last edited by GeneralStark; 05-02-2022 at 09:59 AM.
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  4. #4
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    We sell about 15% of our syrup in jugs with the remaining as bulk sales. For us, we stressed about not getting the jugs but in the end we got what we needed although our packaging was not consistent across all sizes. Did other producers experience shortages that impacted their production?

    Ken
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  5. #5
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    We were able to get what we needed for this year but we had a good stockpile to start the year. Usually try to stay a couple cases ahead on quarts and pints. Down to about 1 case ahead now. We have had to flop back and forth between CDL jugs and Ampak (formerly Les Cruchons) depending on what was available. Hopefully it gets straightened out in 2022. The CDL jugs for less $$$ was short-lived. Last case of pints I bought the Ampak jugs were cheaper.
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  6. #6
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    I was talking to a dealer in PA about the container issue and he said that the manufacturer, Sugarhill, didn't have anyone to install labels or print jugs. Blank jugs are readily available but labeled ones are on back order until the manufacturer can solve the labeling issues.

    He bought all of the PA labels that they had and the quantities of blank jugs he needed to put them on. He already had the tool to install the labels. I don't know the details on where to buy the tool or the price. He said that the almost 2000 jugs that he bought were about a third of what he normally sells and that he was looking into finding a supplier for labels. Of course he had to add the cost of the labeling to the price of the jugs but at least he had something to sell to his customers.

    It's looking like that at the present private labels may be the way to go.
    Russ

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  7. #7
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    Feb 2011
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    Eagle lake Maine
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    We switched a couple years ago to custom jugs through CDL. We had to buy 20 cases of each size which was a considerable expense at the time, but I'm glad we did now!

  8. #8
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    We are labeling jugs for several farmers including our own. Sugarhill drops off semi-truck loads of jugs and we label them. Mark Erlsten at Erlsten Bros maple is the contact if you wish to have blank jugs labeled. We have a year of experience at this point.
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