Availability, Pricing, and Delivery Times Remain Concerns for Paper and Envelopes

October 14, 2021

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic had shifted the paradigm of normal everyday life in many ways, including the cost and distribution of goods both domestically and internationally.

Paper, which has historically been a stable product has seen significant price increases just as demand is spiking.  The prices have gone up 30-40% in 2021 alone.  Along with price increase has been the major disruption of the in the supply chain.  The supply chain has been severely impacted across the globe leading to delivery times of 60 – 120 days.  There are many different factors working together that are leading to the delays including:  disrupted flow of logistics, stranded containers, availability of raw materials and labor shortages.

Global Supply Chain Disruption

One paper company executive reports that just obtaining the raw materials needed to make paper grades has been a challenge. “The COVID-19 pandemic impacted our global and domestic supply chains, prompting us to engage in more advanced planning and further enhance our relationships with key raw material suppliers,” he says. “We’ve become more strategic versus tactical in sourcing: developing new resources for substitute raw materials, fast-tracking backup supply resources to alleviate shortages, and broadening and pre-qualifying our vendor partner base to eliminate potential supply chain gaps.”

Another executive states that they been heavily impacted by the availability of raw materials such as pulp, chemicals, foil, containers, and pallets — the whole supply chain has been constricted.” Everything from the skyrocketing prices of pulp, to the shortages of timber needed for the shipping pallets, to difficulties getting shipping containers picked up or dropped off, have all contributed to the problem, she says.

Multiple Factors

Major weather has had a huge impact as well, with everything from fires in the West to the winter cold snap in Texas impacting the production of raw materials needed to produce not just papers, but adhesives, foils, vinyls, as well as many other materials.

If all of that wasn’t enough, printers aren’t the only ones looking to procure the same raw materials, which is further driving up costs and reducing availability. Everyone is well aware of the spike in demand for bathroom tissue products as the pandemic unfolded last year. In general, there was significant demand for personal hygiene products, food packaging, corrugated packaging, and paper-based medical supplies.

Many of the mills that produce printing papers also make these products and, as demand has increased, they are being forced to balance the load between not only different grades of papers, but for different products as well. And the consumer demand driving that shift isn’t going to ease, even into 2022, so the pressure on the paper grades used in commercial printing operations will continue to be a factor.

No End in Sight

How long will these conditions persist? Across the board, the experts are fairly confident this is going to be the “new normal” at least through the end of 2021, and likely into the first quarter, if not the first half, of 2022. Demand will continue to outpace supply, and it is no small matter for mills to quickly ramp up production, this will continue well into 2022.

But it’s not all bad news — in fact the industry is actually very optimistic about the future, current supply challenges notwithstanding. We’re seeing all of these inventory challenges because business came back faster than all of us were able to react to. At the same time, it’s exciting and very hopeful. We just have to work through this together.


So what is TC Delivers doing to manage the changes and what does it mean to the end user?  Great question, the management team at TC has actually been monitoring this for quite some time and is making attempts to modify the process.  These steps include expanding our vendor base.  We have been researching and negotiating with suppliers and manufactures nationwide to find the best combination of price, delivery, quality and service to best accommodate the needs of our clients.  We also are being proactive in terms of delivery times by placing orders earlier and in higher volumes than normal.

Understanding the factors that are currently in play helps us be better partners.  We believe it is very important to keep you up to date on these market conditions as they need to be considered by all parties as we move forward.  We are making every effort to navigate these unique conditions, however, continued price changes and longer delivery expectations are currently the norm and we will make sure we continue to discuss these with our clients so you understand the impact on your individual projects.



What Our Customers Are Saying

  • Partnering with TC Delivers has been one of the best choices we made. We have worked with them for a number of years and it has always been a great experience. I know I can rely on them to give us the best service possible. The team at TC is top notch and I know the future will only bring better things. Our salesperson makes sure to keep us up to date with any mailing solutions we need.


  • We have used TC Delivers as our presort service for the past five years. Although our output volumes have significantly increased during this time, their knowledgeable staff has maintained the same high levels of quality, efficiency, and care with our mail. I look forward to our continued business together and highly recommend TC Delivers for anyone looking for a professional, reliable, and friendly presort service.

    Insurance Industry

  • Great communication & collaboration while working with this vendor.

    State/City/County Government

  • Very professional, great company to work with.

    State/City/County Government

  • TC Delivers has been a great partner to work with. They helped create an outstanding team environment that helps us achieve our mailing/processing goals and demands whenever a new challenge arises.


  • TC Delivers has done a great job growing along with our company, keeping up with the increased business and higher monthly mailing volumes associated with that growth. Our salesperson is always on top of quotes for projects, helps keep us on point for our escrow balances, and her expertise has helped to find cost savings for our company. The Senior Data Processing Technician does an incredible job with all the day to day processing, as it runs seamless. His attention to detail helps to account for the accuracy he displays on all the Special Mailing projects, as well as the new projects that he has to implement that are thrown his way. TC Delivers is a top notch vendor to utilize when looking for savings and accuracy on all your mail solutions.

    Financial Services Organization

  • Our company has been working with TC Delivers for the last 7 years and have always been completely satisfied with their performance. They are customer service oriented and always meeting the time frames we have for sensitive jobs.

    Furniture Chain

  • When our company first opened an office in Florida in 2012, we used TC to ship all of our mail for us. In 2014 our corporate office decided that we should be unified with all of our offices throughout the country so they moved us to another presort facility. We had many problems with that other facility (mailings not reaching their destination in a timely fashion, etc).
    At the beginning of the year we switched back to TC and we could not be happier. We have not had customer complaints about mail not getting somewhere on time. Our salesperson is very helpful and is always willing to answer any questions we may have. We are very glad we are back with TC and will recommend them to anyone!

    HOA Management

  • I’ve been extremely satisfied with TC Delivers customer support, professionalism, and quality of work. I have thrown many different projects at TC Delivers and they always comes through for us. My favorite part of dealing with them is they never reply to a request with “NO we can’t do that”, they always start out with “Let’s see what we need to do to take care of that for you” and that is “CUSTOMER SERVICE”. Our everyday mailings, proof of mail, fulfillment and presort is always taken care of very professionally, their pick-up drivers are on time and courteous.

    Insurance Industry

  • We have solely used TC Delivers mailing services for 2 years. Our account managers work diligently to not only meet, but exceed our expectations. Any questions and new efforts are quickly answered and assisted in planning. It’s so refreshing to do business with an affordable and professional family-owned and operated company.

    Direct Mail Catalog Provider

  • Our company goes to TC Delivers for all of our printing needs. They always respond quickly to our requests for quotes and get the product out to us in a very timely manner. We use them for mailers, informational cards and specialized projects as well. Their prompt service and outstanding customer service is what keeps us coming back!

    State/City/County Government

  • We have been with TC Delivers for many years and we have been very pleased with their service for us. TC has friendly staff and drivers, willing to be of help even when we need extra services like trays & sleeves. Their pricing is very competitive and they are willing to work with us on large projects as well as small. We will be using them in the future and would highly recommend their services.

    International Non-Profit

  • Working with TC Delivers has truly been a great all around experience. They accommodate our schedule changes, and the drivers always provide quality customer service. We appreciate our relationship with TC Delivers, and look forward to a continued partnership.

    Recycling Industry

  • TC was easy to do business with and delivered the campaign that we needed several times.

    Healthcare Provider

  • I have had the pleasure of working with TC Delivers for the past 12 years. We have produced a number of projects together- both large and small, and a number of ongoing ones. During this time, the service has been outstanding and it is their attention to detail that really shines. Once I turn it over to TC Delivers, I no longer have to worry about it. And that more than anything says more about working with them- it’s nice to have a partner who walks the walk. I would whole-heartedly recommend TC Delivers for pretty much any direct mail and fulfillment project that you would have. It’s worry free!

    National Franchise Owner

  • TC Delivers has delivered consistent quality service to us for over five years. Their prompt, professional and reliable customer service is what sets them apart, saving us time and money without any headaches.

    Logistics Industry

  • The staff over at TC Delivers helps our daily mailings fulfill with ease. They are always eager to help, and wonderful to work with.

    Credit Union