Administration of UK's biggest paper merchanting group to cause supply problems?

Paul Youngs, Printbox UK

This small item on the BBC News website detailing the recent administration of the PaperlinX group could have major consequences for the printing industry that also has a knock on effect for print buyers over the coming weeks.

Over recent years PaperlinX, the UK's biggest paper merchanting group, have acquired well known names such as Robert Horne Paper Company, Howard Smith Paper Group and The Paper Co (known locally to East Anglia as Masons Paper).

An article in Printweek quotes a senior source competitor before the official announcement was made: 

“If it [Paperlinx] went, I can’t imagine what would happen. The disruption would be incredible… Even though Paperlinx is smaller than it was, the volumes are still huge. The other merchants won’t be able to cope with it. It’s an extremely unusual set of circumstances.”

Losing such a big supplier of paper in the UK market could well lead to paper shortages and in worse case scenarios could see some brands disappear for good, if the paper mills themselves cannot carry the losses that they have sustained from the administration.

To add to the confusion, printing companies will need to look to their own credit lines as they could now need to increase their spend with the remaining paper merchants.

So we could be in for some difficult times in the coming weeks. If you single source your print from one or two printing companies, then my advice would be to keep close to them and plan your schedules accordingly.

From our point of view, at Printbox UK, we do have the tremendous benefit of working with a large network of print suppliers and so we have the advantage of flexibility to get your project printed.

If you’re stuck with an order that you just can’t get printed, give us a call on 01603 397704

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