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If the scarcity of raw materials on the German wood market continues, pallet producers and other wood packaging manufacturers will soon no longer be able to produce enough, The Bundesverband Holzpackmittel, Paletten, Exportverpackung (HPE) sounded the alarm. 

There is a risk of noticeable impairments for the entire movement of goods – within Germany and when exporting. “Then we will no longer just talk about the fact that toilet paper is running out. The food sector, the chemical industry or mechanical and plant engineering will also be significantly affected, ”warns HPE Managing Director Marcus Kirschner.

The first companies in the pallet and wood packaging industry have recently introduced upper limits for their customers and only deliver fixed quotas, reports the managing director. “Our companies are all affected by the raw material situation.”

Exports to China and the USA have drastically increased the availability of wood in recent months. Certain types of softwood lumber and wood-based materials, such as plywood and OSB boards, are currently hardly available.

“Quantity, date and delivery commitments are becoming more and more difficult for companies in the industry,” says Kirschner, describing the situation. After the metal and plastics industry, the wood packaging industry is the third in the country with essential bottlenecks.

The members of the HPE literally carry the goods of the economy safely in and on the pallets, boxes and cable drums they manufacture through Germany, Europe and around the globe.

“If this situation does not relax quickly, the first shipments of goods will soon stall and stifle the revival of the economy,” concludes Kirschner.

Tighter supplies of wood in global markets have increased wood prices in the last period and will continue to rise in the upcoming period.

Further price increases in the wooden pallet and packaging industry are “inevitable” according to FEFPEB (European Federation of Wooden Pallet & Packaging Manufacturers) as companies across Europe and the rest of the world continue to feel the effects of the pandemic.

The European association expects that sustained price increases for wood raw materials and availability problems in certain markets will put upward pressure on prices for several months.

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