The Real Reason for Industry-Wide Price Increases in Paper

The Real Reason for Industry-Wide Price Increases in Paper

The current market conditions have caused a flurry of price increases across the printing industry. Here are just a handful of statements from our vendors in recent months:

“The price increase is due to several market conditions outside of our control. These conditions include escalating commodity pricing of raw materials, increasing freight costs, as well as the continued effects of nationwide inflation and labor shortages.”

“These adjustments are necessary to offset continuing increases in the cost of paper.”

“Inflation has accelerated in the wake of recent mill closure announcements.”

“To ensure the continuity of supply, we will adjust prices for any shipments.”

“Paper mills capacity reductions (mill closures) and diversion of mill capacity to non-PSL markets have created an extremely tight domestic supply situation for paper face and liner materials critical to our industry.”

“Extremely high raw material and indirect costs are causing continued inflation, especially on paper products.”

These are just a few lines from six letters we received from various suppliers across the paper industry. The message is coming through loud and clear: global inflationary pressure, demand for paper, and shortages due to mill closures are causing industry-wide price increases.

Even though we’re following suit with price increases, Rose City Label is in a fortunate position for the following reasons:

  1. We have a high inventory of various label materials, giving us tons of flexibility with producing labels for our clients.
  2. We have strong relationships with our vendors that go back decades. Even with the volatility in the paper industry, we feel great about having the ability to acquire paper materials needed to serve our clients.
  3. We have the capability for high-capacity label printing thanks to our new press, meaning that we can produce the jobs for you faster and in higher quantities than ever before!

As always, we appreciate your understanding during these challenging times. We remain committed to serving you whether you need wine, beer, or specialized product labels! 

Ready for us to tackle your next label job? Get a quote here

G7 Master Print Qualification

G7 Master Print Qualification

Certified World Class  Quality

Recently Rose City Label upgraded our print quality standards to match the most stringent G7 quality standard in the printing world.  With a multi-day onsite audit, we were able to demonstrate our ability to precisely match print targets. This is a true mathematical proof that our print quality meets or exceeds the highest international standards.  Check the certificate by clicking here.

Why Get Certified?

The Idealiance website says it best, and we couldn’t agree more.  Print is competitive, and to be successful, you have to be VERY GOOD at your craft.  We are raising the bar so we can keep meeting your needs.  Measuring ourselves against high standards means we always produce certified world class quality.  Learn more about G7 quality here.

Print service providers of all types know that a measurable, predictable, and uniform color management process provides significant business advantages. For printers to make money, orders must be turned around quickly, they must be consistent and they must predictable.

Investing in People, too!

Besides recognizing our facility, the auditors also look at the technical quality of our people.  Both of our graphics people – Lisa and Amy – were awarded a separate certification for their expertise.  We have high standards.  We invest in our people and they do their best to meet our customer needs every day.  It is a team effort and we all enjoy working together to make outstanding labels.

And, WE ARE HIRING! We always need a ready supply of highly trained peole to keep up with our workload.  If being a part of a team like this sounds good, please contact us today.

Precise Servo Technology

Beautiful, repeatable labels

Printing is an art – and it always will be. But, there is a massive amount of science built into the art of printing. For repeatable, high quality labels, we need measurable standards and targets.  Our production team is using more technology and automation everyday to ensure that our quality keeps rising over time. ‘Eye ball color’ isn’t good enough today.  With this certification we are demonstrating to ourselves and our customers that we are committed to measurable quality.  

Continuous Improvement – Forever and Always!

This certification is just one of many ways we challenge ourselves to get better over time.  Today we print more labels, with better quality, than we ever have before.  We measure and we improve over time in our print quality, our business performance, and in our environmental stewardship.  This is a long game.  As a 94 year old family business we have a unique perspective.  We are here for the future to keep meeting all our customers’ needs.  Call us today if you want to partner with a leader that is always getting better.

New Press Coming!

New Press Coming!

New Press for Faster Labels

This Fall Rose City Label is again investing in new technology to serve more customers.  This new servo driven press will provide the fastest, most economical option for mid and long run labels.  Our digital business is booming with the small to mid length runs, and this press will round out our capabilities.

Fastest Speed and Precise Registration

As wonderful as our HP Indigo Digital Press is, it still has limitations. This new press is designed to run up to 4x (400%) faster than the HP press.  On longer runs, that massive speed increase means faster deliveries and lower cost to you, our customer.  And, the quality is unmatched in the traditional press arena.  The full 8 color capabilities mean that we can print a beautiful 4C (CMYK) image, along with a specific pantone color for a logo element, and keep all the colors in precise register tolerance.  This is a whole new level of long run quality.  New Press for Faster Labels – for you!

Precise Servo Technology

Computer Controlled Technology

Even though we have done traditional printing for over 50 years, this takes the game to a new level.  This is computer controlled, servo driven quality.  This means faster learning for our press operators, more reliable operation, and the ability for factory service with remote diagnostics.  This machine has all the modern features of a 21st century digital press, with the speed of a traditional press.  This is the perfect combination to serve more customers in the coming years.  This technology will keep the press running reliably for years to come – New Press for Faster Labels.

Embellish Inline!

Currently, we have to emboss and foil stamp labels on a second machine.  Not anymore.  With precision in-line foil stamping, we can run a mid to long run job with foil stamping on one press at full press speed.  We can also emboss on that same single run.  Things that took days will now take hours.  We have massive new capabilities and we need your creativity to make the most of them.

This press is built by Mark Andy, the world wide leader in production label presses.  They have a huge lead on every other press company, and they are based in St. Louis, MO to provide local, US-based service into the future.  Check out more details by clicking here.

Sheets and Rolls – total flexibility

With all these options, we are better positioned than ever to serve all your label needs.  Rolls and sheets, backside printing, complex die cutting.  All the options you have enjoyed at Rose City Label are getting even better.  Faster run speeds and lower waste make us even more environmentally friendly.  Call us today.  We are ready to serve all your label needs.

Consistent Color over Time – here’s how!

Consistent Color over Time – here’s how!

Consistent Color Over Time – RRWC

In our business, many of or new label print jobs are considered ‘RRWC’ – Re-Run With Change.  This is not a NEW item (something we have never printed) and not an exact reprint – it is somewhere in the middle.  The most common example in our business is wine labels.  If we printed 2018 Chardonnay last year, and then this year you want another run – 2019 Chardonnay – then this item is RRWC.  We have printed Chardonnay before, but we are updating (changing) to the new vintage and often a new alcohol percentage.

 

Baled Cans

Revising the Current File – Best Option

When we get an order for Rerun with Change, the BEST option is for Rose City Label to revise our current file and send a proof for approval.  This is the best way to ensure a color match with the existing item.  This is the best way to have consistent color printing.  Providing a new file is not required – and can be detrimental – on RRWC jobs.  Letting us make the file changes per your specification is the best option for the most consistent color printing.  

Fine Tuning After the File is Submitted 

Part of the difficulty with the submission of new files on RRWC jobs is that internally we do several additional processes to your submitted files after the proof is signed.  There is considerable calibration, setup for die cutting and potential foil stamping, and several other steps before the file is ready to print.  And, then we color correct the output to match the desired end sample.  All of this work has to be redone from scratch when you submit a new file.  This is a huge additional task that adds no value to your label production and actually slows down delivery of your labels.

Unintentional Changes = Big Time Wasters

Finally, sometimes when a new file is submitted for a RRWC job, there can be very small, unintended changes that throw off the color match to the previous label.  One small change in how a logo was built, one small change in a background image… Any of these changes can make a big difference and add hours to the label production. Because we don’t generally know what has been changed, we end up spending extra time playing detective to find the correct formula to match the prior label.  This is wasteful in time and material, and adds no value to the final label.

RRWC – Don’t Submit a File, Just Submit your Edits

For best results, trust the experts at Rose City Label to make your edits and send corrected proofs for approval.  Don’t waste time and energy sending new files unless you want a different look!  If you want consistent color printing, let us use the existing file as the base to work from, and edit from there.  Together, this will allow us to get the best results with the fastest turn around time.

Thank you for partnering with us and trusting our 94 years of label experience work for you.  Questions?  Call us today!

Aluminum Recycling with Labels

Aluminum Recycling with Labels

Aluminum Recycling – with Labels

Protecting the environment is very important to us – it always has been.  We take it very seriously when our products are considered to be unfriendly to the environment.  Labels are not ideal on aluminum cans – this is true.  As we noted in this blog post back in 2019, compatibility of the label and the container are critical.  Paper labels on paper envelopes (like our self adhesive postage stamps) is one of the better options, but even in this case, the adhesive can be problematic and build up in the recycle process.

 

Baled Cans

Our Customers Need Us – They Need Labels

Because many of our beverage customers are small, craft producers, they really have no other choice.  Nobody wants to pollute, but there is really no other viable option.  Printed cans have a 12 week lead time and the minimum practical order quantity is more than 200,000 cans.  This is way too many labels for many of our brewers.  They don’t have the time, money, or space to order that many cans at a time.  Flexible inventory and quick turn times make labels a very necessary part of the business plan.  Sleeves are no better.

Sleeves Have Diffferent Problems

Shrink sleeve labels, which we could potentially produce someday on our existing equipment, are no better.  The shrinkable plastic film is STILL a contamination to the aluminum recycling stream.  AND, they typically have at least an 8 week lead time.  One brewer is ordering shrink sleeves in the midwest, getting them shrunk onto cans in California, and then shipping their brewery in Montana!  This isn’t a green solution!  

Not a Big Problem!

Sadly (for us) this really isn’t a big problem.  Labelled cans are likely less than 1% of all cans recycled in America.  We certainly wish this number would grow over time, because that would be good for our business, but in reality, it is a very, very small number.  All the Red Bull, Bud Light, and Coors cans render the small number of labelled Craft Beer cans meaningless.  And, there is other contamination.

Yes, recyclers would like the most pure aluminum possible, but it isn’t realistic to have perfectly clean cans.  Gum, cigarrette butts, and other waste is in every load of cans that has ever been recycled.  There has to be an allowance for contamination in the recycling process.  There is no other option but to filter out all the waste – including poly labels – when the cans are melted down.  Yes the problem is growing becasue small, innovative crafte producers have this option that didn’t exist 10 years ago, but it is still a very small problem compared to the economic opportunity and creative expression offered by this flexible packaging option. 

Control What you Can

Given the benefits of labels, the choice you can make is to work with an eco-friendly label company like Rose City Label.  We are 100% wind powered, we use water wash printing plates, and have many award winning recycling programs in our business. We were just recognized again in the FTA 2021 Sustainability Excellence Awards

If you need great labels for your canned beverage, at least you have the opportunity to work with a company with a focus on sustainability.  Call us today.  We can help with all your label needs.