The Toilet Paper Effect

By Mary Schilling / Published:

Remember during the early months of COVID we had an over abundance of people buying up all the toilet paper they could. Even to the point of stocking their bathroom cabinets for 6 months leaving others with not enough to get by? And then there was a price increase?

Well, it is happening again folks, but with a different kind of paper. The kind you don’t want to use down there, but to print on. US paper mills are to capacity and unless you are a valued loyal customer, paper mills don’t have the rolls to provide different grades as test rolls or stocking your new business needs.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, paper mills were consolidating, taking down time and converting machines over to packaging paper to stay profitable. But the effects left a hole in inkjet and offset printing paper supply for printer friends.

Printers who are loyal and are at the top of the list are ordering and stocking 6 to 10 months of inventory leaving less for others to stay successful, creating the “Toilet Paper Effect”.

In talking with print customers and merchants, roll hoarding by printers has added to the pain, leaving less rolls inventory for paper merchants to supply small printers. Don’t be surprised or maybe you already know, this defect in inventory will create a paper price increase.  Mills are trying desperately share supply by putting printers on consolidation. Though this helps gets needed supply to more printers, it limits current order volume leaving no room for production growth or new business.

The current paper market status has and will continue carve a large production gap between the big and small printers. The pandemic caused many small printers to close and merchants to consolidate and if we don’t find a way to help each other, it will get worse.

So how can we help our printer brother and sisters through this difficult time? Inkjet Insight would like to help. If you have extra paper which is not needed for your current book of business or in need of paper, contact us with the details:

  • Mill
  • Grade
  • Weight
  • Roll width
  • OD
  • Core
  • # of rolls available
  • Location
  • Contact Phone and Email

We will assist in connecting those who have with those in need. We are all in this together. Please contact us and we will try to help you connect to find, or offload paper. You can also share your insights on the market for a future article.

On the bright side, international mills paper stock is not limited and easily accessible, if you can pay the transport price.

And toilet paper is back in abundance too.

About the Author

Mary Schilling


Mary Schilling writes about technical inkjet industry articles, provides RIP and workflow training, manages print quality analysis evaluation, ink management and color management for OEM’s and end users for pre and post machine installs. Mary Schilling consults with paper mills, fluid and inkjet machinery suppliers on how to improve color and print quality for high speed and industrial inkjet involving paper, plastics, metal, fabric and glass with UV and aqueous inkjet fluids. This experience led her to receive Innovator of the Year awards from the Flexographic Technical Association and from Xplor International for her efforts in closing the gap between inkjet printing for document, and digital corrugated packaging. She is the owner of Schilling Inkjet Consulting, Published Author and Certified ColorGate Color Trainer and Distributor. Her latest published works can be found

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