Australian Packaging Converters Step Up to Meet Shortages

Stepping up for COVID-19

Australian Packaging Converters Step Up to Meet Shortages
April 28, 2020 Ivan Hong
In News

Source: Packaging News (PKN)

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, as the government calls on industry to make products in short supply, manufacturers are turning to local packaging companies for help.

PKN spoke to Caps & Closures about our response to the crisis and the growing need for Australia’s self-sufficiency, especially when it comes to the supply of essential items for public safety.

Caps & Closures continues to experience unprecedented demand for a wide range of closures and dispensing options, with staff working through Easter to fulfil requirements, as managing director Brendon Holmes tells PKN.

Brendon Holmes, MD, Caps & Closures

Brendon Holmes, MD, Caps & Closures

“We continue to use every measure to cater for this unprecedented demand by increasing production, extending operating hours, employing additional staff and working around the clock to keep lead times to a minimum,” he says.

Holmes too cites the panic hoarding from the public as causing a significant shortage of essential products, like hand sanitiser and handwash.

Holmes says the company has put measures in place to increase production to meet the nation’s essential packaging needs.

“Even with the global supply chain network in crisis, our experienced staff have done great work in managing the influx of emergency orders, production planning and fulfilment logistics.”

Now is the time… to learn from the pandemic experience that has exposed Australia’s reliance on overseas supply chains and support investment in retooling for products that should be manufactured domestically.

“We are attracting new customers who are seeking an Australian manufacturer with credibility and a proven record, to fast-track supply of product to the consumer. We are innovating with existing caps and developing new designs to serve their needs. We have committed additional shifts for production round the clock, with careful planning, to support our customers both locally in Victoria as well as interstate to ensure the quick production of essential commodities by their manufacturers. That way, we can get it out to those who need them quickly,” Holmes says.

“Now is the time, as the Industry Minister Karen Andrews and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian recently pointed out, to learn from the pandemic experience that has exposed Australia’s reliance on overseas supply chains and support investment in retooling for products that should be manufactured domestically.”

Holmes relates that Caps & Closures has seen some “amazing outcomes” within its customer base, with local operations from breweries, distilleries, and bottlers converting lines to meet the ever-increasing demands of sanitiser and cleaning products.

One such customer is Urban Alley – a Melbourne-based independent craft brewery located at Docklands, now using its resources and facilities to produce hand sanitiser. Holmes tells PKN Caps & Closures was able to put measures in place promptly to adapt to the requirements of Urban Alley and at the same time save an estimated 100 jobs in the supply chain.

According to Holmes, the company is also developing a portfolio of PPE (personal protective equipment) products to serve a new Australian way of life and manufacturing industry that will demand availability of face-shields, masks and sanitising aids for example.

“The challenge going forward is to continue to support our new customers and expand our business together, in a highly competitive industry with many international competitors,” Holmes says.

One of the silver linings from COVID-19 will be a more robust manufacturing sector in Australia that after decades of neglect will once again become the engine room for innovation, economic growth and especially job creation.