Over the past year (or more), the print industry as a whole has been dealing with an increase in paper prices along with other factors that have impacted costs and profits such as increasing labor costs and higher postage costs. Each of these factors has contributed to an increase in print prices for projects of all sizes. In addition, the ongoing print paper shortage has impacted prices as some companies scramble to obtain the paper supplies they need on a regular basis. While the start of this year had the hope that these issues would resolve over, they are still a dominant force in the print industry to the point that it looks like the trend of increasing paper costs will continue in the near future.
What Impacts Paper Prices?
One of the reasons print prices have increased is that the cost of print was quite low for over a decade. Even though the price of printing came close to bottoming out, print marketing is still a very cost-effective marketing channel. Unlike in-house print shops, larger scale printers have demonstrated the ability to absorb this rising cost as well as improve the overall quality of their products through increased personalization and enhanced targeting. Paper prices experienced a large increase in 2022 which means the final price of a printed project also increased since the majority of printing is performed on paper products.
In addition, the increase in minimum wage resulted in greater expectations regarding salaries and benefits. It makes sense that costs rise when employee wages increase as this is an incremental increase in cost related to efficiencies built into the print process.
There are also some other factors contributing to increased paper costs:
- Freight shortages and price increases (for ocean and trucking)
- Short-term mill closures (COVID-related) and permanent closures
- Fuel costs and energy costs
- Increased paper demands causing a shift in production priorities
Will Print Paper Costs Continue to Rise?
Paper costs used to be quite low but now they are higher than in the past. These increased costs have a big impact on the affordability of print marketing since some sales are only offered for a limited time.
The overall demand for paper and paper prices saw some increases that didn’t alter pricing in a large manner. However, there is starting to be an increase in pricing for the wood pulp used to make paper. In some cases, this price increase is almost 50%.
Thankfully, improved software and the power of big data provides print companies a greater level of accuracy and granularity. Companies concerned about their ROI will see their print budget maximized by keeping costs low while delivering a return on investment that is greater than what they were able to achieve in previous years.
How We Can Help You Avoid Higher Costs?
The costs for print and mailing must be taken into consideration when planning your budget. There are varying capital and operating costs that make it difficult to determine the impact they will have on your yearly budget. Plus, you will not be able to decrease your fixed costs if your customers decide to go digital (even if you print less materials).
Taking all of that into consideration, you can reduce your print and mail expenses by outsourcing to a company like Innvoke that specializes in these tasks.
Innvoke can help by using our relationship and reputation with mills and paper merchants to secure the raw materials for your projects/orders as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Contact Us Now for More InformationPhone: 609-900-8492