A woman drives a forklift inside a warehouse filled with toilet paper

On a roll: Australian-made toilet paper, facial tissues secure on shelves as supply chain disruptions take their toll

Disruptions to the global supply chain are helping to increase demand for Australian-made toilet paper and facial tissue products, according to one of the country’s largest manufacturers.

Kimberly-Clark Australia reported a roughly 10% increase in demand from pre-pandemic levels.

Adam Carpenter, plant manager for the company in Millicent, South Australia, said the availability of raw materials plays a big role in the demand for their products.

“As a local manufacturer in Australia, we were able to supply product when other suppliers were potentially importing product, so they were more heavily impacted by global supply chain issues,” Mr Carpenter said.

He said the company has been looking for ways to better ensure security of supply since 2020.

Adam Carpenter says supply disruptions “ultimately impact the product on the shelves”.(ABC Sud-Est SA: Bec Whetham)

He said domestic and international issues have contributed to supply chain challenges.

“We were also challenged with road transport, so with trucks and truck availability,” he said.

“Also, pallet availability, which was a bit of an issue over the Christmas period and earlier this year, has certainly impacted us and others.

“It ultimately has an impact on the product on the shelves.”

Panic Buying Spike

Mr Carpenter said 2022 had been “a very busy year so far”.

“The demand has been particularly strong,” he said.

“[Demand] isn’t as extreme as it was in 2020 when this panic buying started.

Evidence of panic buying at a Port Pirie supermarket
Mr Carpenter said Kimberly-Clark Australia “virtually emptied” its warehouses to meet demand at the start of the pandemic.(Provided: Shari Hams)

“It was quite unusual in the sense that we basically emptied our warehouses in an attempt to continue to keep the product on the shelves.

Mr Carpenter said ‘demand is probably up about 10%’ from before 2020.

“Twenty-twenty was a peak over a fairly short period.

“He was very focused over a period of about six to eight weeks.

A bird's eye view of factory rooftops, trees and a parking lot
Millicent’s plant manager says sustained strong demand is 10% above pre-pandemic levels.(ABC Sud-Est SA: Bec Whetham)

“This year so far we’ve seen stronger demand, which is probably 10% more than what we normally see.

“We ship around 15,000 pallets per week from the south-east [of South Australia]so it’s very busy.”

Call for more domestic capacity

Mr. Carpenter’s comments were echoed by the industry union.

CFMMEU National Manufacturing Secretary Michael O’Connor said there were “a range of issues” affecting the sector, including the behavior of

A man stands in the background and watches packs of toilet paper move along a conveyor in a factory
The CFMMEU says Australia should reduce its dependence on other countries for raw materials and finished goods.(ABC South East SA: Grace Whiteside)

“The problem of supply chain disruption – whether it’s due to the behavior of the Chinese government, a shortage of ships or a shortage of shipping containers, it’s due to a whole series of problems,” said- he declared.

“I think all the supply chain disruptions from COVID, geopolitical events, Russian invasion of Ukraine, etc., all of this just keeps reinforcing the fact that as much as possible , this country should be self-sufficient.

“We should be making and making more here,” Mr O’Connor said.

He said it was vital for Australia to become more self-sufficient.

Michael O'Connor CFMEU National Secretary
Michael O’Connor says the union hopes the new federal government will help solve some of the manufacturing shortages.(ABC)

“We want to make sure that we can be much more robust, much more self-sufficient, and there is a path to achieve that.

“Whether it’s paper products, tissue paper products, packaging, wood, people can’t get their houses built in time.

“People can’t get their homes renovated. People can’t get enough packaging materials, because of the disruption in the supply chain.

“We have to solve these problems.”

Mr O’Connor said the sector hoped a new federal Labor government would help solve some of the problems.

“Australia needs more pulp capacity…we should be making more pulp, which can then of course support our paper machines across Australia.

“We hope that this government will do more to address the shortage in the timber industry, more to see the expansion of our forest estate, and it has also made a commitment of millions of dollars to try to increase the availability of training to improve the skills of our workforce in this sector.”

Post , update

#roll #Australianmade #toilet #paper #facial #tissues #secure #shelves #supply #chain #disruptions #toll

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *