Board Converting News, December 4, 2023

BoardConverting Serving the North American Corrugated and Folding Carton Industries for 39 years December 4, 2023 VOL. 39, NO. 49

Diesel Prices Take Flight As Supplies Remain Tight BY PHILLIP M. PERRY

Smurfit Kappa To Invest $68M To Start Plant In SC Dublin, Ireland based Smurfit Kappa, a pro- vider of paper-based packaging solutions, announced it is expanding its U.S. footprint by establishing the company’s first South Caroli- na operation in Anderson County. The $68 million investment will create 200 new jobs. “South Carolina’s reputation for having a highly skilled workforce makes our state a top destination for manufacturing companies to establish new operations. We welcome Smurfit Kappa to South Carolina and look for- ward to a long and fruitful partnership,” said South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster. Smurfit Kappa has more than 350 produc- tion sites in 36 countries; 22 in Europe, 13 in North and South America, and one in Africa. The company designs, manufactures and supplies paper-based packing products to surround, promote and protect interior con- tents. The company expects to acquire a new 259,000-square-foot facility located at 1105 Scotts Bridge Road in Anderson. The Coor- dinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits related to the project.

Diesel prices have been softening over the past year, and their re- cent $4.44-per-gallon level is now well below the eye-popping $5.49 last seen in the summer of 2022 on the heels of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But the good news comes with a significant caveat: The price tag for the truck fuel is expected to remain historically high, with Moody’s Analytics projecting a gradual rise to $4.50 by mid-2024. That’s well above pre-pandemic times when they stayed below $3.50 for a five-year stretch.

Given that fuel costs can account for as much as 25 percent to 40 percent of a typical trucking operation’s total expenses, any shift in the price tag can have a real effect on the bottom line. So, what’s keep- ing prices high? A major contributing factor is the cost of oil, which is passed right along to the diesel distillate. “Today’s crude oil price of about $95 a barrel is being supported by the agreement on the part of Saudi Arabia and OPEC to maintain production at a level less than consumption,” said Allen R Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum. “So prices are projected to remain at their current level through 2024.” Tight diesel supplies are not helping matters. “Like other commodi- ties, long and short-term diesel price expectations are driven by supply levels,” said Trey Cowan, Oil and Gas Analyst at the Institute for Ener- gy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). “Figures from the Energy Information Agency show that we are tracking toward five-year lows.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 24


6 x x 8 x x 12 x x 26 x x 4 AICC Invites Members To West Coast Ski Event In Snowbird, UT 10 TAPPI Announces Scholarships For 2024-25 Academic Year 22 Hatteras Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary 32 WPR Services Partners With Wearable Tech Companies


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BCN To Increase 2024 Print Subscription Rates

AVERAGE CONTAINERBOARD PRICES The average prices reported are tabulated from prices PAID by various sources throughout the United States the week previous to issue. Prices in some areas of the country may be higher or lower than the tabulated average. The prices tabulated here are intended only for purposes of reference. They do not connote any commitment to sell any material at the indicated average. Transactions may be completed at any time at a price agreed upon by seller and purchaser.

Board Converting News has announced that it will be in- creasing its print subscription rates effective January 2024. The new rates will apply to both renewals and new sub- scriptions. A one-year subscription will be $275, up from

REGION E. Coast Midwest Southeast Southwest

42# Kraft liner $955.00-960.00 $970.00-980.00 $970.00-980.00 $ 970.00-980.00 $1000.00-1010.00 $973.00-983.00

26# Semi-Chem. Medium

Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del.

$ 890 .00-9 4 0.00 $9 0 5.00-9 2 5.00 $9 0 5.00-9 2 5.00 $9 0 5.00-9 2 5.00 $9 2 5.00-9 4 5.00 $9 0 8.00-9 2 8.00

$223, and the discounted two- year subscription will be $395, up from $355. This represents the first cost increase for the print issue of the publication, which celebrates 40 years in 2024, in approximately 10 years. “This difficult decision was made in response to the rising costs of printing, postage and delivery,” said Len Prazych, Presi-

West Coast U.S. Average

SHEET PRICES BY REGION (AVERAGE) Per 1MSF, local delivery included, 50MSF single item order, truckload delivery. Sheets

E. Coast Midwest South-SW S. CA N.CA/WA-OR US Aver.

200# 275#



$62.69 $82.80

$85.35 119.54

$73.13 101.29












107.46 118.45

114.69 129.32

116.54 137.25 117.82 145.56

141.08 148.46

122.76 131.80

CANADIAN SHEET PRICES (AVERAGE) In Canadian Dollars, per 1MSF, local delivery included, under 50MSF single item order, truckload delivery. 200# 275# Oyster UC 275#DW 350#DW $78.56 $99.18 $9.00 $96.32 $105.83 CANADIAN LINERBOARD & MEDIUM The average prices reported are tabulated from prices PAID by various sources throughout Canada. Prices may be higher or lower in various areas of the country. The prices tabulated here are intended only for purposes of reference. They do not connote any commitment to sell any material at the indicated average. Transactions may be completed at any time at a price agreed upon by seller and purchaser. Prices are Canadian $ and per metric ton.

dent/Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. “In addition to the over- whelming desire of our readership to see our digital issue online – for free – every Monday morning, we believe our ongoing migration to a digital format gives our readers and loyal advertisers the best value while they stay abreast of the latest news, trends and events in the corrugated and folding carton industries.” For questions and more information, contact Prazych at

42# Kraft Liner 26#

Semi-Chem Medium

East West

$9 2 0.00 $ 96 5.00

$9 1 0.00 $9 4 5.00


December 4, 2023

AICC Invites Members To Register For West Coast Ski Event In Snowbird, UT AICC, The Independent Packaging Association, invites ski enthusiasts to register for the AICC 2024 West Coast Ski Event, set for February 28 through March 2, at the iconic Snowbird Cliff Lodge in Snowbird, Utah.

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Nestled amidst the breathtaking scenery of Little Cot- tonwood Canyon, the Snowbird Cliff Lodge stands as one of North America's most iconic ski lodges, boasting pan- oramic views of Snowbird's slopes and glacially carved canyons, the Cliff Lodge promises an unparalleled ski-in/ ski-out experience paired with luxurious accommodations. After a day on the mountain, guests can unwind with CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

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West Coast Ski Event (CONT’D FROM PAGE 4)

their families at the outdoor pool or The Cliff Spa, featur- ing over 30 treatments and salon services, a yoga studio, fitness center, rooftop pool, and two hot tubs then connect with old friends and new during three evening receptions and a meet-up on the mountain mid-day on Friday. The hotel deadline is January 25, 2024. Attendees are encouraged to make their reservations early using the link on AICC’s website. The room rate for mountain view rooms is $429 (plus a discounted resort fee of $15). There are also a limited number of Atrium king bedrooms ($529) and deluxe rooms ($599). These can be connected to a mountain view room to accommodate more people. The resort fee includes high-speed wireless internet, self-parking at all lodges, use of designated pools, hot tubs, fitness rooms, laundry facilities, in-room coffee, 15

minutes daily computer use in the business center includ- ing faxing and boarding pass printing. Registration costs for adults (18+) are $425 each. Reg- istration discounts are available for groups of four ($1,500 total) or five ($1,850), and children under 17 ($50 each).

Register at . Questions can be directed to Cindy Huber, AICC Director of Conventions & Meetings, at or (703) 836-2422 or Laura Mihalick, Senior Meeting Manag- er, at or (703) 836- 2422. Visit . FBA Productivity And Waste Survey Available The Fibre Box Association (FBA) an- nounced the publication of the corrugated industry’s biennial “Productivity & Waste Survey.” The 2023 survey provides useful benchmarking data by machine center on productivity, waste, and starch consump- tion, and offers the best-in-class data for users to compare operations. Participating companies are surveyed on their machinery, labor operations and waste. The 2023 report includes data for 25 companies and over 443 plants in 6 dif- ferent countries. Data covers 360 corruga- tors and over 2,211 pieces of 33 different kinds of finishing equipment. The Survey contains a summary and detailed report for converting equipment, reporting on basis weight, starch consump- tion and plant productivity, and equipment listings by plant. Data is further segmented by machinery size for flexo-folder gluers, rotary die-cutters, and printers. The survey is available at the FBA store at . Cost is $300 for participants, $500 for FBA non-participating members and $800 for non-participants. A discounted rate is also available to TAPPI members for $650.


December 4, 2023


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Board Converting News, Flexo Market News Combine Forces

Box Shipments ( U.S. Corrugated Product Shipments) Industry Shipments In Billions of Square Feet Month September 2023

Beginning in 2024, Board Converting News will be incor- porating its sister publication Flexo Market News into its weekly publication, combining their respective editorial, sales and management teams. The publications have served the corrugated, folding carton and flexo industries, respectively, for more than a combined 65 years. “We continue to grow and expand every year,” said Len Prazych, President/Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of NV Publications, parent company of BCN and FMN, “al- ways searching for ways to bring increased awareness and value to our customers. This is another exciting move for the company, adding additional levels of editorial coverage for our readers and market awareness for our sponsors.” “Board Converting News is the undisputed premiere publication serving the corrugated market,” said FMN Ed- itor Greg Kishbaugh. “Combining all the resources of FMN with those of an industry leader such as BCN opens up untold opportuni- ties for the future.” The new venture will begin with the January 1, 2024 issue. For questions and more information, contact Pra- zych at



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2023 2022

3 0.911 3 2.734

-5. 6

7. 728 7. 794

- 0.8

Industry Total

September 2023

Year-to Date



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2023 2022

285.619 305.519

- 6.5

7. 556 7.998

- 5.5

Industry Total

Containerboard Consumption (Thousands of Tons)



Percent Change Year-to-Date Percent Change

2023 2022

2. 5387 2. 6314

- 3.5

23.3187 24.8978

- 6 .3

Container Board Inventory - Corrugator Plants (Thousands of Tons)

Corrugator Plants Only


Percent Change Weeks of Supply

Percent Change

Sept. Aug.

2.2 15 2 2. 1606


3. 5 3. 6

- 2.8

Shipping Days




2023 2022

2 0 2 1

1 89 1 91

SOURCE: Fibre Box Association

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AICC Rotary Die Cutter Webinar To Feature Richard Etra AICC, The Independent Packaging Association, an- nounced a virtual presentation on How to Get the Most Out of Your Rotary Die Cutter featuring corrugated indus- try expert, Richard Etra, set for March 5, 2024. This webinar will explore which features make sense

Division scholarships totaling nearly $60,000 are avail- able for academic year 2024-2025. Applications are due February 15, 2024. TAPPI Corrugated Packaging Division scholarships in- clude: • $10,000 from the Terry S. Paulson Memorial Fund will provide two $5,000 scholarships for students pursuing careers in maintenance or engineering for the corru- gated industry • $5,000 from the Joe Dieffenbacher Memorial Fund will grant one $5,000 scholarship to a student pursuing a career in engineering for the corrugated industry • Additional $1,000 scholarships to be presented and sponsored by the Bobst Group, Mitsubishi Heavy In- dustries, and WestRock The TAPPI Foundation also offers the William L. Culli- son Memorial Scholarship, in amounts of up to $4,000, for students majoring in pulp/paper science. The TAPPI Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Scholarship, established in support of underrepresented populations, includes three $2,000 scholarships. The deadline to submit applications for academic year 2024-2025 is February 15, 2024. TAPPI encourages students to apply for all of the schol- arships for which they may qualify. To access scholarship applications and division specif- ic guidelines, visit or contact the Awards Department at

for your mix and how the configuration of identical components of your die cutting line can have a huge impact on productivity based on your mix. Etra is a 47-year veteran of the cor- rugated industry with extensive expe- rience in all aspects of box plant oper- ations. He is the founder and principal

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of Etra Corrugated Solutions, LLC. To register, visit aiccbox. org . For more information, contact Taryn Pyle at tpyle@aic- or (703) 836-2422. TAPPI Announces Scholarship Opportunities Worth $60K TAPPI has announced multiple scholarship opportunities offered to graduate and undergraduate students in corru- gated and packaging related programs. Several Technical

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Efficiency Improvements Are Important, But Cost Savings Are Hypothetical I’ll start with the obvious. Of course, everyone in manufacturing wants to and should pursue efficiency gains in production. High standards drive high results. It’s true in everything we do in work, relationships, hobbies,

etc. When the bar is set high, inherently, you try and reach that level. I fully understand that is the case and should be the case. What isn’t necessarily true is the consistent message we’ve all heard for years, “Efficiencies save the company big dollars.” Well… hypothetically maybe. Possibly. It could. I’ll explain with an “also, obviously….” Efficien- cy gains increase capacity. But are there actually

Trent Halasek

dollars tied to an efficiency gain? Efficiency improvements by them- selves don’t actually save the company any money. They could, but not directly. Some other factor must change in order to realize a financial benefit. Think about it. The machines run the same number of impres- sions, so maintenance costs are unlikely to change materially. Perhaps, the amount of total run time matters, but it could be years before those would be realized and proving that definitively would be impossible. Selling, General and Administrative expenses don’t change. Fixed over- heads don’t change. Raw material costs don’t change. Shipping costs? Nope. Nothing there either. What about labor? The company would easily reduce labor costs! Well, again, maybe. What will absolutely happen is direct labor costs would turn to indirect labor costs. You could send the direct labor home, which would reduce the company’s cost. It’s been my experience that this rarely happens. Normally, that direct labor cleans, or does another non-direct labor task. But all the naysayers are correct. There COULD be direct labor savings because of an efficiency gain. However, even this requires a secondary act – management sending the direct labor home, thus reducing the number of hours worked. What’s the point? Well, primarily, it bugs me when people say there is massive opportunity to cut costs by increasing efficiency. Under normal circumstances, it’s just not true. The only way it is completely true, is if your facility is at 100 percent capacity (24/7/365) and are turning down orders. Even then, the amount of the efficiency gain would have to be substantial to have an immediate impact. A 1 percent increase in effi- ciency won’t move the needle. In reality, most manufacturing facilities are not at true capacity and any time saved through an efficiency gain is unlikely to have new orders to fill that down time. In other words, there isn’t much there. Secondarily, the point is to say we oftentimes focus more attention than necessary on tasks that don’t drive the top or bottom lines. ***Quick break for a side note – see paragraph 1. I’m not saying efficiency gains are not important, it just doesn’t drive profitability like some believe. Now, back your regularly scheduled programming.*** There are abso- lutely manufacturing best practices that reduce costs, it’s just not real- ly efficiency improvements. Here are a few better examples – waste, a product saved is a dollar sold. Preventative maintenance program – low- ers overall maintenance costs on the equipment. Automation – Think au- tomatic conveyors, it DIRECTLY pulls labor costs out of manufacturing by reducing forklift labor + it shows up to work every day! Material and part pricing – a dollar saved is a dollar that falls all the way to the bottom line.



December 4, 2023

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Efficiency Improvements (CONT’D FROM PAGE 12)


Anytime I make a decision, consider additional person- nel, support a change in philosophy, or get behind a new initiative I ask myself a simple question (safety projects ex- cluded). Does this directly lower the cost of doing business or help increase sales? If the answer to that question is no, I don’t eliminate it from consideration, but there needs to be a good secondary reason for making that decision and it will likely not be prioritized. An example – you may want to hire additional HR to support hiring. A net addition to HR doesn’t reduce costs and I’ve not known HR to ever sell anything. The answer to my simple question, “does this lower cost or increase sales” is no, but there could be a perfectly good reason to make that hire, like Sales Recruitment. I’ll steer the ship back toward the main topic and wrap it up. If this takes longer than five minutes to read, no one will read it (I wouldn’t blame you). Anyways, efficiency savings! They are important, but secondarily important. Important in the sense that you want to have high standards and may realize small savings, but for most of us, it isn’t a homerun, buy-a-new-boat type of savings. It is there and it is fine, but I would go after many other things before efficiency gains. Sell product and reduce raw material cost. Priorities one and two forever and always when talking profit. Trent Halasek is a Sales Manager at Akers Packaging Ser- vice Group.






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PPC Releases Summary Of 2023-24 Trends Report

dropped 7.2 percent and consumer spending fell 3 per- cent. Consumers, however, flush with stimulus money and stuck in lockdown greatly increased their spending on goods, helping boost carton shipments to some of the strongest years in recent history. “Carton shipments recorded extraordinary growth of 5.5 percent year on year in 2020. These gains were main- tained in 2021 when shipments grew another 0.2 percent. “With the remaining pandemic restrictions lifted in 2022, spending started to shift away from goods and back toward services, but strong inventory rebuilding through- out the supply chain helped push shipments up another 4.5 percent. While 2022 had the highest volume of carton shipments since 2010, it was still 8.7 percent below the pre-recession peak in 2007. “The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated recession saw spending shift from services to goods, which had a significant impact on folding carton shipments. While con- sumer spending in 2020 declined 3 percent and spending on services dropped 6.2 percent, nondurables spending increased 2.7 percent. “In 2021, consumer spending rose 8.3 percent, with nondurables spending increasing 8.8 percent. Spending on services in 2021 saw a partial recovery, rising 6.3 per- cent. In 2022, spending grew 2.7 percent but began to shift toward services, which increased 4.5 percent for the year. While still elevated, non-durables good spending CONTINUED ON PAGE 18

The Paperboard Packaging Council announced the com- pletion of the 2023-24 Trends Industry Outlook and Mar- ket Data Report, a compilation and analysis of industry data prepared exclusively for PPC members by Fastmar- kets RISI, an independent economic consulting firm. The report is designed to help executives, sales staff, and marketers identify potential opportunities for growth. The following is a summary of the report: “In 2022, as the world began to move past the COVID-19 pandemic, there were concerns about how markets would react as the economy moved toward a “new normal.” “Carton shipment growth had been in decline since the Great Recession. Prior to 2020, losses in shipments were largely the result of continued headwinds facing major processed food and consumer product companies. Pro- cessed food exports were challenged by the appreciation of the US dollar in 2015, which trickled down to recycled boxboard demand and folding carton shipments. “Over the last decade (2010-19), folding carton ship- ments were under persistent downward pressure and de- clined at an average annual rate of 1.2 percent. Since the Great Recession, only five years have not experienced a decline in shipments: 2014, 2017, 2020 and 2021. “When COVID-19 hit in 2020, industrial production


December 4, 2023

  

 capacity 

  

  and flexible point system, which considers your entire operation and simplifies scheduling tasks, aiming to deliver orders on time, every time. Scan the QR code or visit the link to take a self-guided tour of APB today!

Trends Report (CONT’D FROM PAGE 16)

The Perfect Combo Get Peak Performance From Your Equipment with Matched Component Sets

dipped 0.5 percent in 2022. “Consumer spending on processed food witnessed strong growth of 5.7 percent and 3.7 percent in 2020 and 2021 respectively. With people returning to restaurants and fewer people working from home in 2022, processed food spending dropped 4 percent in 2022. “Lockdown measures and consumer wariness to return to in-person dining caused spending on food service to contract 21 percent in 2020. “Food service spending grew 23.5 percent in 2021 and another 9.8 percent in 2022, finishing the year 7.2 percent above 2019 prepandemic levels. “The gains in folding carton demand reflected consum- er spending trends. The restocking seen during lockdowns fueled a lot of the growth in shipments. While e-commerce supported some growth in folding carton demand, this will change in the medium term. “Folding carton is best suited for shelves in brick-and- mortar stores. However, the shift to e-commerce for dry foods and non-food products could create a separate packaging and delivery channel, which could shift market share from recycled boxboard to corrugated packaging. “Additional headwinds include changing consumer be- havior and the increasing demand for non-carton intensive products, such as liquid soaps and detergents.” The report continues, “Economic uncertainty, lower lev- els of consumer spending on goods and an end to the inventory rebuilding cycle, which helped drive carton de- mand higher in 2021-22, will cause carton shipments to drop an estimated 3.8 percent in 2023. In the years that follow, however, macroeconomic indicators suggest that demand for folding cartons should continue its positive, albeit slow, growth. “Over the forecast period of 2022-27, we estimate that folding carton demand growth will average 0.4 percent annually, reaching 5.4 million tons by 2027. We anticipate output growth in nondurables, which comprises many car- ton-packaged goods including processed foods, will ex- pand 0.7 percent over the forecast. General economic fun- damentals in the US economy, such as the unemployment rate, will remain strong. “A potential recession is becoming more of a concern for the near future as inflation eats into consumer bud- gets. We currently forecast a short, two-quarter downturn in economic output in 2023, but growth will remain strong over the forecast, with consumer spending growing 1.7 percent in 2022-27. “In addition to the overall economic performance, there are other factors that play an essential role in folding car- ton growth dynamics, such as shifting consumer spending habits, substitution away from plastic packaging and ef- forts to reduce packaging waste. “In 2020, Canadian folding carton shipments increased significantly by 3 percent, but decreased 0.3 percent in

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Trends Report (CONT’D FROM PAGE 18)

actual folding carton prices for several years. “To provide some perspective, market prices for carton board grades increased at a 5.1 percent average annual rate from 2012-22; over that same 10-year span, folding carton average values per ton increased by an average of 2.3 percent annually. “Coming out of the recession, average carton values were relatively stable in 2009 and 2010, but average boxboard prices in 2010 were 5.3 percent higher than in 2008. After boxboard costs increased another 7.4 percent in 2011, converters were forced to raise folding carton pric- es to prevent any further margin erosion but only gained 2.3 percent in average carton values. “From 2012-17, the folding carton average value per ton fell at an average of 0.5 percent per year, losing ground on boxboard prices, which grew at a 1.5 percent rate. “Around 2014-16, the flood of folding boxboard entering

2021 before jumping 3.7 percent in 2022. Tonnage volume reached 446,000 tons, translating to C$1.25 billion. “The macroeconomic environment in Canada over the outlook will be supportive of carton shipment growth, how- ever, the planned closure of a cartonboard mill in 2026 will reduce Canadian folding cartonboard capacity by nearly 30 percent. “This will greatly reduce the amount of folding cartons that can be produced and shipped in Canada. As a re- sult, folding carton shipments are expected to decline by 2.7 percent per year over the next five years and fall to 388,000 tons by 2027.” The report continues, “On prices, the situation is some- what challenging, particularly for independent converters, mainly due to carton board prices consistently outpacing

the global market provided some tempo- rary leverage to independent converters in price negotiations with suppliers. “However, mill closures reduced capac- ity, and with demand and producer costs rising, boxboard prices shot up significant- ly, swinging the market back in favor of integrated producers and sellers of box- board to the open market. “Over the past five years (2017-22), prices have become a more significant challenge for independent converters, as boxboard prices grew at an average rate of 8.9 percent per year, while the average value per ton for folding cartons rose just 5.2 percent. “The US folding carton end-use mar- kets can be grouped into three broad cat- egories: growth, mature and declining. “Growth markets are classified by aver- age annual growth of 1 percent or more. According to our analysis, four end-use markets are poised to grow by more than 1 percent per year. “Nine end-use segments are classified as mature markets and are expected to maintain current levels of demand over the five-year forecast cycle. The remaining four market segments are classified as a declining market this year.” The end-use markets analyzed in the full 2023-24 Trends Industry Outlook & Market Data Report are food products (beverages, cereals/milled grains, frozen foods meat, etc.) and non-food products (cosmetics, hardware, converted paper products, pharmaceuticals, etc.) PPC members have unlimited access to the full report. For more information, visit .


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December 4, 2023

Hatteras Reflects On Path To Success In Celebration Of 40th Anniversary Tinton Falls, New Jersey based Hatteras announced the celebration of its 40th anniversary. From its humble begin- nings, Hatteras, a printing and carton converting provider, has become known for its diverse, print-based marketing and packaging solutions and customer service. Established in 1983 as a small offset print shop by found- er, Charlie Duerr, Hatteras set out to provide high-quality printing solutions tailored to the needs of its customers. “We are thrilled to reach this milestone and reflect on the incredible journey that brought us here,” said Bill Duerr, President, who took over the day-to- day leadership of the business in 2016. “Our success is deeply rooted in our commitment to understanding and evolving alongside our clients. This anniversary is not just about the years we’ve spent in business, but about the relationships we’ve built and the challenges we’ve overcome together.” Over the years, Hatteras has navigated the dynamic landscape of the printing industry. What began as a mod- est operation has flourished into a comprehensive printing hub, equipped with offset, digital and large format print capabilities complemented by in-house mailing, fulfillment Bill Duerr

and warehousing services with the goal of meeting the de- mands of its customer base. Today, Hatteras delivers solutions to clients across pharmaceutical, retail, beauty and wellness, food and bev- erage, and financial services industries. From investing in staff and equipment, to embracing technological advance- ments, the company has stayed at the forefront of the in- dustry to help ensure its clients receive the best possible services.

“What I like to think about is how many people drive by our facility every day without knowing all of the amazing work we’re producing for some of the world’s best-known brands,” said Michael Noerr, Chief Marketing Officer, who joined the company in 2018. “From larger-than-life retail graphics, direct mail, to custom packaging and influenc- er kits, our work is seen by millions of people every day, whether in a store, online, or in their homes.”

Do you need printed sheets? We have your answer.. Introducing Heartland’s ColorCorr. This is “flexo-printing in the round”. On our corrugator we can print up to 109” wide. The advantage is that we can print the equivalent of ½ roll at a time and not be required to keep several rolls of very expensive preprinted paper on the floor. Much less waste and risk. In continual print mode, we use either laser-engraved rubber rolls or solid rubber rolls to print a “flood coat” or a repeating pattern. If we are printing a repeating pattern, we can run a two-color design on the paper. Customers have found that running sheets we print can allow them to run a lighter-grade due to reduced caliper loss, and in some cases eliminate one or more machine passes.

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December 4, 2023


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Diesel Prices (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1)

Capping Production Given the popularity of diesel, one would expect refin- eries to pump out as much product as possible. But that’s not the case. As noted above, it behooves some countries to reduce output to bolster the price tag of an important export. Furthermore, there is a cost problem to consider: If pump prices drop too low, making the fuel is just not feasible.

“Over the years, refiners in the United States have re- duced capacity due to poor margins and increased en- vironmental costs, as well as to the expense required to maintain facilities in a world where United States demand has peaked,” said Andrew M. Lipow, President of Hous- ton-based Lipow Oil Associates. “Refineries are shutting down as they look ahead to how much money they will have to spend to maintain safe and environmentally com- pliant facilities.” Inflation, too, increases building costs. It can cost sever- al hundred million dollars to bring a new refinery online, at a time when oil demand in the US is going down. (USEIA, the United States Energy Information Agency, projects die- sel consumption to be flat in 2024). The prudent decision may well be to shut down, and Lipow noted that two more U.S. refineries on the West Coast and Gulf Coast are plan- ning to do just that. Supply Relief Russia produces some 10 percent of the oil from which the world refines diesel, and its ability to move its product through alternative channels has helped mitigate the glob- al diesel shortage. “The sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States and other countries on the purchase of Russian crude oil and refined products has forced Russia to find new customers,” said Lipow. “While the majority of their oil is sold into China and India, they have found alter- native markets in North Africa and Brazil.” Too, there is a bit of supply relief from some new refin- eries in parts of the world where diesel demand is growing. “Over the past year, new refineries have come on stream in Kuwait, Oman and China,” said Lipow. “There is one in Nigeria that has yet to come online,

Once recycled, corrugated box fibers are used 7-10 times to make new boxes and other paper products. And, more corrugated packaging is recovered for recycling than any other packaging material. Corrugated attracts eco-conscious customers who prefer to choose sustainably packaged products. Environmentally Responsible. Recyclable. Compostable. Extraordinary.

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Diesel Prices (CONT’D FROM PAGE 24)

Green Power Peeking around the corner as a partial solution to die- sel shortages is more production of “renewable diesel,” an eco-friendly product made from vegetable oils and fats.

and another in Mexico which may be producing fuel in 2024.” While the additional supply is welcome, it is mea- ger: “These new refineries will only represent an increase of some 1.5 to 2.0 percent of world capacity.” On the demand side, U.S. consumption is a mixed bag. Upward pricing pressure is coming from the travel sector, where the post-pandemic consumer continues to buy airline tickets in great numbers. “There’s no doubt that increased jet fuel demand has reduced, somewhat, the availability of diesel fuel,” said Lipow. Fuel for the nation’s aircraft is pulled from the same oil pool required for diesel. At the same time, downward pricing pressure has come from the shipping industry. “Freight activity is a big driver of demand for diesel, and thus of prices,” said Schaeffer. “We have been experienc- ing a drop-off in freight demand, which is a result of supply chain issues finally being resolved. We've seen a number of trucking companies go out of business as a result.” Current fuel prices are affected by consumer and busi- ness confidence. Here, again, there is an expectation for reduced diesel demand. “Right now, prices are not necessarily responding to the lower supply situation,” said Cowan. “That's because people are focused on what the economies are going to look like both in the U.S. and abroad over the coming year. Right now it’s a subdued outlook for demand globally.”

“The USEIA is projecting an increase of some 30% in the consumption of renewable diesel in 2024,” said Schaeffer. “That is huge, but most of it is going to displace petroleum usage on the West Coast, primarily in Califor- nia, Oregon, and Washington. All of those states have low carbon fuel policies in place that require refiners to bring in increasing percentages of renewable low carbon fuels into the mainstream pool. Some of that displaced fuel will be available to users elsewhere in the country, so that will help moderate prices.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

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Diesel Prices (CONT’D FROM PAGE 26)

trucking industry from adopting electric vehicles,” said Bri- an Guinn, CEO of United Energy Corporation, a diversified oil, and gas producer based in Plano, TX. “One is a lack of a sufficient number of charging stations. Another is the fact that the heavier the load the fewer miles an electric truck can travel before charging is necessary.” Even if the requisite charging stations are built, using them can prove a costly disruption to truckers’ schedules. “These guys already spend more than three quarters of their lives on the road,” noted Guinn. “If they have to stop an additional two or three times on a typical trip, electric power will not be effective.” There is also a problem of range in those parts of the country subject to cold seasons. “The batteries have a tendency to degrade in their performance in cold weath- er,” said Ed Hirs, an energy fellow at University of Hous- ton. “And so, while it's reasonable to assume that electric trucks can shoulder the load in temperate regions such as California, Texas, Arizona, and all across the south, it's not so certain that they will do very well in the northern climates during the winter.” For all of these reasons, it seems that EVs are a viable option for truckers only if they are traveling relatively short distances and coming back to their home base to charge up. “We will see some city garbage trucks transition to electricity a lot sooner than we will over the road long haul vehicles,” said Guinn. CONTINUED ON PAGE 30

Sometimes called “green diesel,” renewable diesel is virtually chemically equivalent to petrodiesel. That makes it a so-called “drop-in” replacement for the fossil fuel, which means it can be dropped right into a truck’s tank without needing to be blended with its carbon-based twin. That is a significant advantage over biodiesel, an alter- native eco-friendly biomass based fuel that can only make up from 5 percent to 20 percent of a petrodiesel blend. Together, renewable diesel and biodiesel account for some 5 percent of U.S. diesel consumption. Renewable diesel production has recently surpassed that of biodiesel, and more growth is forecast. “A number of refineries have in the last three years an- nounced they were transitioning some of their traditional petroleum refining processing into renewable diesel,” said Schaeffer. “Many mainstream oil companies are putting their fin- gers into renewable diesel at some level, which will help boost growth.” At the federal level, tax credits are encour- aging producers to produce more renewable diesel. Diesel Vs Electricity Given the need to meet federal and state energy man- dates, the trucking sector is starting to pay more attention to the potential usage of renewable diesel as an alterna- tive to electricity. “There are several things preventing the long-haul

• Machinery selection • Plant layout • Project Management • Consulting

A true corrugated industry veteran with nearly 50 years’ experience, Richard Etra can help you with every aspect of box plant operation. Contact Richard today for a no-cost consultation: email: ph: 917-647-9520


December 4, 2023

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