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2023 Outlook and Printing Industry Update

Going into 2023, many of you have asked for a forward-looking view as you forecast your budgets and develop marketing plans.

Here is our take on the key factors in play:

Prices. You’re likely aware that the cost of paper and other manufacturing materials has soared in the past 18 months.  Paper, for instance, is around 50% higher than this time last year. Other direct cost inputs such as plates, inks, coatings, adhesives, freight, and labor are up as well.  While we do not anticipate material prices to retreat, we believe these costs are leveling off and prices to be relatively stable in 2023.

Paper availability.  Overall, availability is trending in a positive direction, and we think the worst is over.  That said, paper mills are strategically managing and allocating their supply and worldwide inventory levels hover at historic lows with allocations still in place.  Planning and communication are still key, but we are positioned very well to serve you. 

Production/mailing turn times.  Turn times are improving but we are still not where we were pre-pandemic and not where we want to be.  Labor onboarding and skilled workforce development are high priorities for our company and as we add staff, our plant capacity and operational efficiencies improve. It’s been a tough go, quite frankly, and we appreciate your patience.

Other factors.  There is a lot of uncertainty in the national and global economy that has direct implications for the print industry.  A recession, geopolitical risks, rising energy costs, and supply chain interruptions are among obvious possible game changers.

Other things you should have on your radar:

Postage increase.  The USPS is continuing its pattern of semi-annual postage rate increases with the next increase coming January 22, 2023.  The cost for letter mailpieces is projected to rise 3.2% and flat mailpieces 6.2%.  We also expect another increase in July 2023.

UPS/FedEx shipping increase.  UPS and FedEx Ground have announced 5.9% rate increases for ground, air, and international shipments effective in January 2023.

The business circumstances of 2022 reinforced the value of strong relationships, and we expect those to continue to pay dividends in 2023. We’re grateful for the preferential treatment we receive from our suppliers, and hope you feel valued as our customer.   

We appreciate the trust you place in Modern Litho and we look forward to working with you in the coming year. Your Account Executive is available to assist with further information.

Here are a few links to topics that were addressed above:

Paper Supply Shortage


Postage Rate Increase


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