From appliances and furniture to cars and lumber, nearly every supply chain sector has felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The upheaval has especially rocked the manufacturing and shipping industries, triggering unprecedented supply shortages and delivery delays that have left buyers and suppliers at a loss for words.
Over the last year and a half, we have seen and felt the supply fluctuations featured in headlines across the globe. We used to produce and ship orders within 3 weeks before the pandemic struck, but now it takes longer. While our production capabilities are currently up and running smoothly and consistently, our lead times are being affected by supply chain disruptions. However, we’re optimistic that a dash of preparation and a sprinkle of patience will bring cooler and calmer waters in the months ahead. Until then, let’s navigate this momentary storm together.
In this article, we’ll break down what to expect when ordering custom packing tape in today’s ever-changing landscape, answering your most frequently asked questions to help you stay informed.
What are the current lead times?
Currently, standard grade polypropylene and PVC custom printed packing tapes take approximately 4 weeks, and paper tape takes about 4 to 4 ½ weeks. The higher grade tapes, such as the 2.5 mil and 2.9 mil polypropylene are a bit longer. However, these lead times are merely estimates and can change at any time. Because the situation is fluid, it’s best to contact us for the most updated turnaround estimates for your order.
When should I order packing tape for the Fall/Winter 2021 season?
If you’re planning to order custom packing tape for the upcoming fall and winter season, it’s best to plan ahead because we expect longer lead times than in past years. We recommend placing your order as early as September 2021 to reduce the chances of delivery delays, giving you a competitive advantage.
What is causing the delays?
Last year, COVID-19 safety precautions and physical distancing protocols used to be the primary cause of shipping delays, but that has changed. Now, material shortages and lags are to blame, adding to the time it takes for us to print and ship your custom packing tape. Our production capabilities are operating smoothly so once we receive in our supplies we can quickly print and ship out orders.
How long will the supply issues last?
Estimating how long the production and shipping delays will last is a little like telling the future using a crystal ball – no one can be 100% sure. However, indicators give us optimism that it’s possible to get back to usual lead times by the end of 2021. We hope to see some relief mid-to-late 4th quarter, allowing our lead times to move back to the traditional 3 weeks for all products. We will continue to monitor the situation and update these estimates as necessary.
What can I do to ensure I get my order on time?
While there are no guarantees, these helpful hints can boost the odds of receiving your order on time:
- Order early
The number one piece of advice we can offer is: place your order early. For instance, if you usually order in October or November for the winter season, place your order in September instead. While we will do our best to accommodate your deadlines, ordering early is the best way to prevent headaches downstream.
- Increase your order quantity
Ordering at least a 6-month supply of custom packing tape can help ensure you don’t run out when supplies are short. Increasing your order quantity comes with a financial bonus, too – you’ll pay less per roll when you advance to a higher quantity bracket.
Concerned about how long your tape will last? Follow the storage guidelines in this article to extend the life of our tape for up to two years.
- Consider different colors
If your favorite tape is out of stock for the foreseeable future, consider switching to another color that may have a shorter lead time. With many of our tapes available in several color options, the chances are good that you’ll find an excellent substitute. No matter which color you choose, we’ll ensure you have a great looking custom tape.
Why should I work with Phoenix Tape?
When you choose us, you have the benefit of our vast experience and strong supplier partnerships. We are working tirelessly with our raw material suppliers to increase product flow. To demonstrate the value of our customer commitments, we also provide excellent communication and a relationship-centered level of service that you’re hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Through thick and thin, we’ll be here for you.
As we all learn the value of patience and kindness in these testing times, we hope that you’ll consider partnering with our expert team. We’re on top of this ever-changing situation and look forward to the opportunity to show you why we’ve been a customer favorite for custom printed packing tape since 1985. Contact us to learn more.