Egg Cartons on Backorder as Packaging Woes Roil Supply Chain

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The packaging backlog in the U.S. is so bad it’s slowing down shipments of eggs to grocery stores.

A pandemic-era surge in demand for groceries has left North America’s packaging industry struggling to keep up. It’s so bad that Egg Innovations, one of the biggest pasture-raised and free-range egg producers in the U.S., is expanding its supply chain to include manufacturers in Malaysia, founder and President John Brunnquell said.

Cartons that typically would be ready in 4 to 6 weeks are taking as long as four months, according to Brunnquell. That’s forcing the company to delay the launch of a new brand of eggs by two months. It’s also delaying existing shipments.

Further, prices for the packaging have jumped 6% in the last 8 weeks, he said. Backlogs are also a problem with corrugated boxes used for items like pizza and shipping perishable food.

Brunnquell is cautiously optimistic the packaging woes will improve over the next two to three months as more restaurants reopen and absorb some of the demand on grocery-store products. Carton companies “may finally be able to catch their breath,” he said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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