The rise of technology has changed society’s habits.
We are now more likely to open the front door to see brown Amazon packages instead of a bundled newspaper. E-commerce has become a trillion-dollar industry worldwide and has shown no signs of slowing down.
Online shopping is popular because it’s easy and it doesn’t have hours of operation. You can place an order anytime you want from wherever you are. That’s true even if it’s 2 a.m. and you’ve had too much to drink – a report by Finder.com shows Americans spent $39.4 billion (with a b) on drunk online purchases last year.
The convenience of online shopping results in a lot of packaging paper, which is great for the pulp and paper industry.
You’re not making Christmas wrapping. You’re making packaging paper. In 2019, that’s even better.
Amazon: Our New Overlords
It’s not breaking news that Amazon is a juggernaut. Everyone knows that. The online giant passed more than 100 million members and 62 percent of Americans have an Amazon Prime subscription. Those Prime members spend about $1,400 per year. Even non-members still buy $600 worth of stuff a year.
The amount of money flowing into online sales has become almost comical. In 2018, its estimated US merchants did as much as $517 billion through online sales. The trend isn’t going away, either. It’s estimated that by 2021, global e-commerce sales could reach nearly $5 trillion.
Good News for Pulp and Paper
All these wild facts and figures should come as a wave of reassurance for pulp and paper plants. While there’s a fervor from society for everyone – both businesses and citizens – to be more environmentally friendly and “paper free,” there will still be a demand for graphic paper. Optimistically, the outpouring of online shopping has created an avenue for growth for paper mills.
This growth is attainable with smart decisions about where to spend and where plants can protect thin-margins. One way to limit operating costs to save those margins is investing in quality equipment.
Considering those thin margins, it makes a big difference for a plant to use hog fuel to generate the steam needed to power the mill. By reducing the need for natural gas, the hog fuel boiler can pump life into the plant and keep things running cost-effectively. This allows you to keep up with the rising demand and production for your mill.
‘This Stupid Thing Again?!’
If you have constant problems with your equipment, it’s going to be an uphill battle. Those are unnecessary and unplanned costs that are harmful to a plant. In a world of paper-thin margins, reliable equipment is going to be massively important.
A dependable conveyor system should be specially customized to fit your specific plant. Don’t fall into the trap of those one-size-fits-all conveyors, which will only end up costing you more in the long run. A truly dependable conveyor system has several important features:
- Durability – Wear resistance against harsh temperatures of the boiler
- Reliability – Components must match design criteria to ensure long service life
- Ultimate Strength – This applies to the chain itself and relies on consideration of:
- Impact Resistance – Proven core and case hardness
- Fatigue – Wear related to cycling and workloads
- Wear Resistance – Product abrasion, speed, and articulation vs. high acceptable core and case hardness
The world needs its packaging paper and it doesn’t want to wait for your plant to repair or replace broken equipment. However, the continued need for that paper is great news for plants.
The pulp and paper industry plays a huge part in bringing joy to everyone. The start of a person’s Amazon-based happiness is at your plant. After ordering their items – maybe after a few drinks, no judgment – there is real excitement when they see those brown boxes.
Online sales may have changed the landscape of the pulp and paper industry, but with the proper equipment, you can trust your plant is running smoothly, paper and boxes are rolling off the line and profits are piling up.
The CDM story is about recognizing every industrial operation is different, as are their conveying challenges. A custom-engineered conveying system is a cost-effective approach to any operation willing to look at the value of having a partner who is vested in your success and one who stands by their product. CDM has earned more than 85 percent repeat business because we’re more than just a conveying systems manufacturer – we’re a business partner.
For further information contact:
Andrew Parker, President CDM Systems, Inc.