Packaging Lead Times

As the world faces an unprecedented time with the COVID-19 pandemic, so does the world of packaging. There is a huge influx in demand for cleaning and health products, including hand sanitizer and disinfectant products. Companies are feeling pressure from the increased demand on a myriad of items. This is causing longer lead times for customers to receive their items.

Interview with Jerry Davis

To understand how current packaging lead times are affecting our customers, we interviewed our Vice President of Purchasing, Jerry Davis.

Jerry Davis As Vice President of Purchasing, Jerry is responsible for all elements of purchasing in support of a dynamic sales organization.

Jerry informed us of the trends he is seeing in the market and how our customers should prepare for future orders. Learn more by reading our full interview below.

Q: Due to COVID-19, where are we currently seeing the biggest impact within the packaging industry?

A: We’re seeing the packaging industry impacted in two ways: the types of orders and the lead times. Products like plastic containers, pumps and sprayers, dispensing closures, and basic continuous thread closures have skyrocketed in terms of the quantity of orders. These products include all variations of shapes, sizes, and colors.

For lead times, let's say an item typically had a 3-4 week lead time. Now with the pandemic, that lead time could well have increased to 20-24 weeks, or possibly even longer. Our team at MJS Packaging is doing everything we can to mitigate these long lead times.

Q: Are there any packaging products not impacted?

A: For the most part, things seem to be business as usual for most glass and some metal products. Lead times for some plastic products, including scoops, dosage cups and jars are reasonable as well.

Q: For the plastic containers not used for hand sanitizer and disinfectants, are there any delays?

A: Yes, there is an overarching impact on other plastic containers. Many manufacturers, such as distilleries, chemical manufacturers and beauty companies pivoted their production to make hand sanitizer instead of their typical products. This drove demand for packaging and closures used to contain and dispense hand sanitizer, disinfectant, etc. Our manufacturing partners altered their production patterns to meet this demand, and in turn slowed down production on other packaging. Therefore, the effects of these adjustments are being felt throughout most industries who use plastic packaging.

Q: Is this impacting international and domestic supply?

A: Yes, it’s impacting both. In addition to the spikes in demand, we are seeing some of our domestic and international suppliers running at reduced capacities. If their facility was shut down due to work restrictions in their area, they might be back to work but could be running with a minimized workforce. We also would have hoped for relief or at least signs that lead times would be trending in a better direction by now. However, as we check with our manufacturing partners to see if the other side of the “tidal wave” is coming, they report that nobody seems to be canceling orders yet. Demand is still very strong to say the least.

Q: What should I do to get the packaging I need?

A: There are a few things you can do to make sure you are on top of getting the packaging you need for your business. We suggest you:

As lead times increase, work with us to ensure you can receive the packaging you need.
  • Forecast your packaging needs. Communicate with us early about the products you need to order during this time.
  • Expect and plan for delays.
  • Exercise patience and be flexible.
  • Be open to alternatives, if and when possible.
  • Secure your spot in line with a purchase order.

Rest assured, we are dedicated to providing you the same service we always have.

Q: What fuels the work at MJS Packaging?

A: MJS Packaging is in our 135th year of business. We have weathered every economic climate and continue to come back stronger than before. With a trusted global supply network and a stable management team, we are dedicated to providing complete packaging solutions.

Deemed an essential business, we have been working tirelessly to supply packaging through this pandemic to our customers. We are proud to play a small role in getting essential products to hospitals, nursing homes, first responders, and other critical groups.

Let MJS Packaging Help Supply Your Products

We are committed to your success! Communicate your packaging needs to us early and often, and our knowledgeable packaging solutions specialists will work with you to meet your needs without unnecessary delays. We will get through this together.

Contact us online or call us at (800) 915-2262 today!