Many sectors are in the doldrums due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but for those companies managing to keep their doors open, the e-commerce market is booming, thanks to those forced to stay at home and order many of their supplies online. This has led to a massive global increase in the need for cardboard and other wood-derived forms of packaging.
The effect of this has recently been noted at the US Port of Savannah, Georgia, where, even as early as February, there was a marked rise in the handling of wood products.
Although the change could be attributed to growth in wood pulp – which has increased by 25.5 percent year-on-year and paper and paperboard by 21.7 percent – over the course of the first two months of 2020, Savannah handled 78,486 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containerized forest products; an increase of six percent over the same two months in 2019.
Setting industry standards
Such a demand spike in the handling of these wood-based materials, so early into the onset of the pandemic, speaks volumes – literally. So how have companies met the surge? The explanation is, in part, straightforward – automation.
“Increased automation across all industries is becoming the new norm,” says Bruks Siwertell Sales and Marketing Senior Vice President, Ken Upchurch.