Global Tissue News

Toilet paper and a likely global container crisis

The lack of availability of shipping containers can lead to another lack of toilet paper

Suzano SA, the largest producer of wood pulp, used in the production of toilet paper, tells Bloomberg that the global container crisis may start to create obstacles in supply.

The company ships its pulp mainly on cargo ships known as break bulk and, with increasing demand for ships carrying ribbed steel containers, the tightening is beginning to spread to break bulk and threatens to delay shipments, said Suzano’s executive director Walter Schalka in an interview.

The coronavirus pandemic created a shortage of tissue paper products as consumers resorted to the panic of buying and storing.

Brazil is the world’s largest supplier of pulp and Suzano accounts for about a third of the global supply of short fiber pulp, the type used to produce toilet paper. The company’s concern is that a backup in March shipments may overflow to April.

According to Bloomberg, the container crisis, triggered by the huge demand from China, has been going on for months. But Suzano’s warning is among the first big signs of repercussion in other maritime transport markets. If the squeeze continues to increase freight costs, it also raises the specter of accelerating inflation.

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