Fox Packaging's Keith Fox Details Current Packaging Market
MCALLEN, TX - 2021 has brought its own share of industry challenges. As we rally to recover from the impact of the pandemic, every moving piece of the supply chain is crucial. One such moving piece is packaging. In order to gain further insight, I turned to Keith Fox, President of Fox Packaging.
“There were constraints on supplies for raw materials like polyethylene, and this directly impacted production across a range of industries, affecting lead times and causing sharp price increases,” Keith explained. “With surging consumer demand for food packaging for its safety benefits and hygienic perception in midst of COVID-19, manufacturers were driven to pay premium costs to secure inventory. Shortly after, we experienced a series of weather phenomenon; Texas was hit by a hurricane followed by a winter storm that left many homes and businesses without electricity or water. Many companies are still recovering after these consecutive situations and are working to balance and navigate depleted inventories, price increases, rates of late shipments and deliveries, and overall longer lead time for supply orders.”
The main takeaway for Keith is that these disruptions highlighted the importance of resilient, lean supply chain practices. These systems helped companies who mapped industry changes be proactive in their purchases to relieve supply chain pains.
“The review of packaging designs and materials has continued to stay at the forefront of packaging conversations; we’ve continued to review the components of our products to offer greater sustainability benefits and have been proactive in communicating the importance of reviewing your packaging program to ensure that the key features are addressed in an environmentally mindful way,” added Keith. “Our sister company, Fox Solutions, has been working alongside us in review of our Stand-Up Pouch Program as we continue to develop designs that stand out on the shelf and can be seamlessly packed with pouch bagging automation. Part of our culture is nurturing respectful and profession relationships, we understand our customers’ needs and in turn, our customers can reach out to us with packaging concept ideas and our team will realistically approach them; this type of collaboration is key when selecting a packaging partner.”
In order to mitigate risk within the supply chain, Keith emphasized that Fox Packaging stockpiles inventory based on order history and forecasts, as well as by diversifying its supply bases with other qualified suppliers.
“Having various material offerings can also alleviate burden, as demonstrated during the recent demand for polyethylene. With other alternate packaging materials, like Post-Consumer Recycled content, we can drive value to end-use markets while fulfilling the needs of our customers,” he noted. “Reviewing the core strength of your supply chain allows you to identify inefficiencies and eliminate weaknesses within your operations. Just as many of these impacting events were unforeseeable, there is now a renewed sense of urgency toward supply chain management as it is critical to maintaining competitive advantage.”
AndNowUKnow will continue to keep you abreast of the latest updates as they pertain to the fresh produce supply chain, so stay tuned.