New Trends Emerge as Publishers Aim to Curb Costs
Increasing fuel costs have added to the cost of manufacturing as well.
According to Orso, "The paper market in general is going through a correction that began with modest increases in paper 18 months ago. For the balance of 2005, the real issue in fighting paper costs will come from freight costs. … Freight costs have exploded," he says, "and mills have not been shy about passing along the costs. Shipping paper from one region of the country to another has added to the cost of the paper significantly."
Because of this, he adds, "Most printers and publishers will be pressured to align themselves with a specific paper mill that is in the same geographic region as their printer. …Many customers will be able to save money if they are able to adjust. However, it might pigeonhole some publishers if they are forced to use a specific printer because of its location to the paper mill. Time will tell."
Exploring Environmental Options
Another trend cited by several industry experts is an increased interest in papers that use postconsumer-waste (PCW) recycled content and papers that are certified by the FSC as meeting strict standards in environmental sustainability. And, publishers have more options available to them at lower costs than ever before.
"One of the most important marketplace trends is the increasing interest in socially and environmentally responsible papers," says Stephan Lariviere, market manager, publication channel, for Domtar, a manufacturer of business papers, commercial printing and publication papers, and technical and specialty papers.
The use of 100-percent PCW recycled content paper by the Canadian publisher of the latest "Harry Potter" book and 40-percent PCW by the book's German publisher seems to have fueled the fire a bit in recent weeks as well.
"Many publishing houses are implementing purchasing policies to meet corporate social responsibility criteria across the board, including paper. … What particularly appeals to book manufacturers and other publishers is that since Domtar papers can be made with FSC-certified virgin fiber, they don't have to pay more for an environmentally friendly product," says Lariviere.