Board Converting News, August 30, 2021

FBA 2021 Mid-Year Review: Rising To The Challenges BY DENNIS COLLEY

As we transitioned into 2021, manufacturing has been burdened with labor, adhesive, and pallet shortages. Pro- duction is being hampered in most areas of the country and backlogs for durable products like autos, furniture and appliances are increasing. According to Dick Storat’s Eco- nomics Trends and Outlook Report, the market segments that provide demand for corrugated boxes are expected to grow by 3.6 percent in 2021 and 2.3 percent in 2022. Based upon continued covid-relief funds being distributed to middle-Americans to boost the economy, this number could possibly be understated. January is typically a busy month for the FBA data services department and this year was no different. Data requests went out for a variety of benchmarking reports and data to populate the Corrugated Industry Annual Re- port. The Technical, Safety & Health, and Environmental committees continued to meet virtually every six weeks instead of twice a year in person. The more regular meet-

Let me begin by congratulating the corrugated industry for stepping up to the challenges of 2020 and shipping more corrugated boxes than ever re- ported in Fibre Box Association’s (FBA) history. With a previous re- cord of 405 billion square feet (BSF) in 1999, the industry shipped 407 BSF in 2020, aided by a ro- bust surge in e-commerce. Corru- gated boxes are an essential part of the U.S. supply chain and the industry did its part in getting America back to pre-covid conditions. Dennis Colley

ing schedule allows each of the committees to stay better connected to each other and to their project slate. In February, FBA introduced members to the new Box Segment Demand Indicators Re- port which provides member companies with macroeconomic and market segment data summarized and illustrated in graphs with ac- companying bullet point information. Data is sourced from the latest government resources and compiled to keep you informed about the drivers of demand for box shipments between quarterly statistical reports. FBA held its first quarter webinar on the Economic Trends and Outlook for Corrugated Products Report and published the 2020 FBA Advertising and So- cial Media Impact Report detailing a successful year 4 of the Corrugated Industry Promotion Program. In March, FBA formed a new Cybersecurity Committee. Chaired by Greif’s Tim Bergwall, the purpose of the committee is to share up- to-date technology and information available to help protect corrugated industry companies against cybersecurity attacks. The committee held its first meeting on April 14th and began work on a framework to define focus areas and activities of the committee. FBA also informed the industry about OSHA’s Covid-19 National Emphasis Program and rolled out registration for the Virtual Annual Meeting. Rachel Kenyon and I had a virtual meeting with members of Kroger’s supply chain team. The decision was made in April to cancel FBA’s 81st in-person Annual Meeting and in- stead plan for a virtual event. FBA partnered with social media influencers to expand mes- saging on recycling boxes for Earth Day and

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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August 30, 2021

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