This past year has been a really strange one and with most of our country in lockdown at some part of the year we all learnt to do things differently. The online shopping sector went crazy and you would have all experienced delays both as a seller and a consumer! Thankfully we are now seeing a bit of calm restored to the post network and missing parcels are reducing in number - good news!
Looking ahead for 2022 we will be facing some challenges with stock, our suppliers are forecasting global supply chain delays well into 2023 with consumers paying higher prices on stock and retail items as a result.
In the UK and Netherlands they have just experienced a hike in energy costs which in turn impacts production, and over the past 12 months, international shipping costs have increased from $2000 to $10,000 USD for a 40ft container. Freight Specialists continue to indicate that the worst is not over even with a slight downturn last month. These increased levels are expected to remain in place for most of 2022.
We've also seen a decline in the AUS dollar vs USD dollar - currently trading around $0.71 cents which means anything we buy out of the US is costing a lot more.
From one of our suppliers:
There are six key factors that are impacting the global supply chain and putting upward pressure on pricing and availability;
1. Soaring Natural Gas prices in Europe that effect global manufacturers with increased costs.
2. Supply chain and logistics disruptions arising from the pandemic.
3. Massive spike in freight costs, especially to the ANZ region.
4. Capacity reduction by Paper mills globally rebalancing supply and demand.
5. Solid global demand as economies rebound from COVID.
6. Continuing decline in the Australian dollar against the USD.
Since Covid hit our shores, Paper Love Cards has absorbed all price increases to stock and shipping - that's pretty much 2 years worth of impact to our business and sadly we can't continue to absorb these costs.
From 1 January 2022 we will be increasing some of our most heavily impacted products and where possible we will continue to absorb some costs but as you can appreciate from a business model it isn't sustainable for too long.
Some of our products will be retired due to becoming less popular and we will be introducing some new products to cater for the ever changing trends in jewellery, hair fashion and packaging in general so keep an eye on our posts and website to see what is coming in 2022!
The beauty of our business is that we work with customised designs that the larger guys don't usually want to bother with and that's what makes us pretty special! We provide all of our customers with 1:1 service and if you can't find what you are looking for on our website, we're always here for a chat about how we can help you find exactly what you need!
In summing up 2021, it was a bit of a comedy of errors.....the sitting through daily Premier updates that filled us with doom and gloom waiting for the numbers that decided our fate! I have to say though, reading the comments on FB posts under these updates became quite entertaining!
For those of us living on the Vic/NSW border we had the battle of the Premier's to see what changes would be made to the strip of land that became known as 'The Border Bubble' as they fought the Covid war of words between states.
Our new 'must have' fashion accessory became the designer face mask; the scent of hand sanitiser wafted through the air as you entered shops and buildings, and the don't forget to 'scan the QR code' reminders on every window we passed - we loved these so much that we adopted them for our own packaging and advertising!
Roll on 2022 - let's embrace it with open arms!
Wishing you all a fabulous Christmas and New Year, we hope that you get to enjoy a nice break and look forward to seeing our old and new customers in the year ahead.