Has anyone else been having a really hard time getting ahold of heavy digital stocks? 130#C Satin/Gloss were both client favorites, and now it's difficult to find any. Apparently Verso stopped making anything about 100#C. Does anyone have any information regarding this?
Depends on where you are I think. We've been able to still get Titan 130# Dull/Gloss. Blazer's 130# Satin/Gloss has been harder for us to get ahold of. We've been working with Kelly Paper and West Coast Paper on the USA West Coast. Not as familiar with options in the middle/east of the USA.
Some of the mills are having a hard time keeping up. Just a couple days ago I was looking for some 80lb gloss cover in a house brand (made by Lecta). This is usually very easy to get ahold of, and they had to sub Titan for me. I've had to take other substitute papers or just wait for availability.
Part of the supply issues have been due to shut downs due to COVID. Had an interesting conversation with one of my paper reps a couple days ago. Evidently multiple brands are modifying their mills for production of corrugated board and other items that are more in-demand/profitable. If that's happening, then supply is going to be even more difficult to get ahold of.
I'm in Chicago and we've had to sub Titan as well. It works okay, but we could only get gloss and Blazer 110# and 130# satin were customer favorites. Our supplier supposedly has some stuff coming in from Korea in late July. Word around the campfire is that Verso lost the capability to make anything over 100#C and Korea is one of the only places that has been reliably making heavier digital stocks.
@Rsias I also run Blazer 110# - I actually think its a great paper. Titan appears to be made by Hansol and is a Korean company. First prints on it actually look great (80lb gloss cover).
If you can get ahold of them in your area - check out the Creator brand by Lecta (a European paper - I think this stuff is made in France or Spain). This used to be the 'Delta' brand (Delta Gloss, Delta Silk, etc.) and they rebranded to Creator a few years ago. I did some digging and found out that the house brand of coated stocks that one of my paper vendors was pushing is indeed the exact same thing with a different label, and cheaper. This is the stock they had to substitute Titan for, but they said it was only delayed a few days and they had more coming in next week. Everything seems to be quick turnaround - the stock is sold before they even get it from the mill.
For uncoated, I run Domtar Lynx 95% of the time (we're an in-plant - it matches our brand). I don't seem to have any problem getting ahold of it, but I also don't run it heavier than 100lb cover.
Following up on this topic as I just had a conversation with my paper rep...
I was ordering a pallet of Finch copy paper, and he said they won't have it in stock until May 14 - almost 2 weeks out, and most of what they ordered from the mill is already sold. He mentioned at one point a few months ago, there was no 80lb gloss text available in the US (from the mills), no distributor could get their hands on it from any manufacturer, so they had no way to restock their warehouses for a time.
Aside from mills converting their machines to make other products, the lumber industry is also affecting paper production. Some mills own their own forests, but those that don't are having to deal with increased profitability from lumber. More trees are being converted to lumber instead of pulp, so raw material for any paper is in shorter supply. And because some mills are converting to other products, people are turning to other brands to fill the void. This places more demand on those mills, who are having a difficult time keeping up with the drastically increased demand.
We had trouble getting 70lb gloss text for about a month. We use Mid-Land paper and they had a bunch of stuff just waiting in the shipping docks waiting to be unloaded that was causing a backup. We use their Pro-Digital stuff. it runs great, price is great and quality is pretty good. never had a customer complain about the paper.
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