In today's printing industry, the concept of innovation is wide in definition, but rather narrow in its goal. Leading companies grasp many tools to define themselves, increase profitability, and differentiate themselves. They utilize new technologies, systems integration, novel human resources practices, diversification, exemplary customer services, and so much more. The six companies included in the 2023 class of Printing Impressions’ Innovators of the Year were nominated by printing industry experts and consultants who identified them as notables. The business tactics and philosophies they employ may provide some inspiration to take your company to similar, greater heights. The summary of Bradford & Bigelow that follows shares what makes this company innovative, interesting, and exceptional. The insight it presents may provide the inspiration you need to take your company to a new level, or in a new direction.
*Net Sales were $2,349 million, a decrease of 4% versus the prior year quarter. *Net Income was $170 million, a decrease of 12% versus the prior year quarter. *Continued progress of multi-year coated recycled paperboard (CRB) system transformation. *Completed acquisition and commenced integration of Bell Incorporated in September. *Published 2022 ESG Report demonstrating progress on Vision 2025 ESG goals.
Investment firm KKR has completed its $1.62.billion acquisition of publisher Simon & Schuster from Paramount Global. KKR is supporting Simon & Schuster’s employee ownership program. KKR has awarded billions of dollars of total equity value to over 60,000 non-senior management employees since 2011.
TIME featured 200 innovations this year in its annual list of the best inventions, and Cruz Cool is featured in the Reuse & Recycle category. Cruz Cool is a curbside-recyclable cold-chain cooler from Cruz Foam, a circular materials company. This modern take on cold-chain packaging replaces traditional EPS foam coolers and is perfect for protecting temperature-sensitive products for up to 48 hours. Cruz Foam is made from chitin, a material derived from shrimp shells and sustainably sourced from naturally occurring waste streams in the seafood industry. Whether it’s meal kits, fish packaging, or frozen-food packaging, it has the same temperature control performance as its non-sustainable predecessors. Cruz Foam, which forms the inner insulation layer of Cruz Cool, is home compostable, and the entire unit is certified through Western Michigan University (WMU) as curbside recyclable. The Cruz Foam is washed out and separated from the cardboard during the recycling process, eliminating any impact on the cardboard recovery.
Given the ubiquitous nature of digital devices and digital service promotion, some businesses may be tempted to transition to paperless record keeping systems based on preconceived notions that going digital is somehow more sustainable. That assumption could not be further from the truth. Paper continues to play a significant role in the digital era, especially when it comes to sustainability, accessibility, and security for businesses. Businesses must recognize the enduring value and broad benefits of paper documents. Even with advancements in electronic files, paper remains a critical component for organizations of all types. First, let's address the sustainability of paper. Trees are one of our most abundant renewable resources in America, and a healthy paper industry is critical to maintaining healthy forests. More than a billion trees are planted in the U.S. each year, and almost all the wood used to produce paper products is sourced from private, sustainably managed forests. Sustainable practices are the root of the paper industry, and we continue to advance sustainability through investment and innovation.
*Outstanding performance driven by strong operational results and continued market strength in tissue *Net sales of $520 million, down 3% from the third quarter of last year *Net income of $37 million, or $2.17 per diluted share *Redeeming 2025 notes in Q4 2023 with a combination of a new term loan, cash on hand, and drawing on existing ABL facility *Repurchased $5 million of outstanding shares, with $10 million remaining under program *Reduced net debt by $69 million from second quarter of this year, $416 million since 2020
The certification underpins Mondi’s MAP2030 (Mondi Action Plan 2030) sustainability commitment to make 100% of its packaging and paper products reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025, ensuring a sustainable end-of-life for all paper and packaging products. While recyclability remains Mondi’s focus to keep fibres in circulation, composting can be a viable end-of-life option for certain applications, such as those disposed in the biowaste stream. Mondi’s kraft papers are made from renewable and certified sources, which can support customers to achieve their own sustainability targets. Customers can benefit from a comprehensive product range to meet requirements for industrial packaging, shopping bags for retailers and attractive food packaging for supermarket shelves. An example of Mondi’s compostable kraft papers is Advantage MF EcoComp, which is specifically designed for household and agricultural use and is used for paper bags for wet organic household waste. Another example is Mondi’s EcoVantage kraft paper, which combines fresh and recycled fibres for sustainable and food compliant shopping packaging.
UPM Specialty Papers and adhesive tape specialist Lohmann have partnered to promote recycling of paper liners in the tape industry. Until now, liner recycling in the tape industry has proven to be very difficult. As part of its own sustainability strategy of driving forward sustainable adhesive technologies, Lohmann saw the opportunity to spearhead design for recycling in the tapes industry. The collaboration builds on UPM LinerLoop, which is the pioneering closed-loop paper liner recycling solution launched in 2018. For adhesive tape liners, the greatest technical barrier to high-yield recycling is that the industry has traditionally used siliconized release liners with a darker brown shade. As the typical shade of glassine is white or some other light shade, recycling darker coloured glassine grades in the same stream would contaminate the recycled pulp. Darker shades are comparatively small in volume so recycling them separately is not economically viable.
FY24 first quarter service performance scores covering October 1 through October 20, included: *First-Class Mail: 89.1 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 2.0 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Marketing Mail: 94.3 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Periodicals: 84.6 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.4 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter.
A.J. Plast Vietnam Co has inaugurated a 70,000sq.m biaxially oriented plastic film production plant in the southern province of Bình Dương. The factory's core products include biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) and biaxially oriented polyethylene trephthalate (BOPET) firms, both serving as essential raw materials for flexible packaging industry in a wide range of applications such as household products, agriculture, and pet food. Prasan Onwong, General Director of A.J. Plast Vietnam, said that the packaging sector in Việt Nam boasted considerable growth prospects, particularly in the domain of flexible packaging, which predominantly utilises BOPP and BOPET films. In terms of production capacity, the initial BOPP production line is geared to deliver 30,000 tonnes annually.
UPS announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Happy Returns from PayPal. Happy Returns is a U.S.-based software and reverse logistics company that enables frictionless, no-box, no-label returns for merchants and consumers. “We know that returns have long frustrated shoppers and retailers looking for quick and easy solutions,” UPS CEO Carol B. Tomé said. “By combining Happy Returns’ easy digital experience and established drop-off points with UPS’s small package network and footprint of close to 5,200 The UPS Store locations, box-free, label-free returns will soon be available at more than 12,000 convenient locations in the U.S.” “Joining the UPS team is a win for both our employees and our customers,” said Happy Returns CEO and co-founder David Sobie, who will continue to lead the business for UPS after the deal closes. “In recent years, the growth of Happy Returns has accelerated, and we’ve built an enterprise-grade solution. This new chapter is a natural next step for Happy Returns and allows us to harness the power of the UPS network to transform the returns industry.”
*Net sales increased 13% to $143.1 billion in the third quarter, compared with $127.1 billion in third quarter 2022. Excluding the $1.4 billion favorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 11% compared with third quarter 2022. *Operating income increased to $11.2 billion in the third quarter, compared with $2.5 billion in third quarter 2022. *Net income increased to $9.9 billion in the third quarter, or $0.94 per diluted share, compared with $2.9 billion, or $0.28 per diluted share, in third quarter 2022.
The U.S. ad market rose just 0.1% in September vs. the same month a year ago, but it nonetheless marked the third consecutive monthly gain, following a protracted period of sequential declines. While not necessarily great news amid growing concerns that the macro economy remains uncertain, including speculation over another U.S. and possibly global recession, it's not terrible news either. And while this September was down 2.0% from September 2021, that year was the best September ever since Guideline began tracking the U.S. advertising marketplace.
Colbert Packaging (colbertpkg.com) was presented the Wisconsin Business Friend of the Environment award for Environmental Innovation from Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC). In its 33rd year, the goal of the statewide award is to recognize businesses for programs that demonstrate an innovative approach to environmental protection, or a level of effort beyond that which is required for regulatory compliance. “It’s an honor to receive this recognition from the WMC,” said Colbert President and COO, John Lackner. “As a converter of paperboard packaging solutions, we are committed to developing new and better ways to utilize fiber-based packaging as an alternative to plastics. Our commitment to the environment extends beyond our products, through all our business practices and out into the community.” Craig Summerfield, director of environmental and energy policy for WMC added, “Congratulations to our friends at Colbert Packaging for demonstrating their commitment to environmental protection, not because of some burdensome regulation, but because it’s good for the future.”
January–September 2023 compared with January–September 2022 *Net sales decreased to SEK 13,697m (15,921). The decline was mainly related to lower selling prices, which was partly offset by positive exchange rate effects and higher delivery volumes. *EBITDA amounted to SEK 5,172m (8,213). The change was mainly attributable to lower selling prices. A strong result in the Forest segment and good growth in the Renewable Energy segment had a positive impact on earnings. EBITDA margin was 37.8% (51.6). *Operating profit declined to SEK 3,738m (7,052). *Operating cash flow was SEK 3,040m (4,958).
Tweddle Group has been named a 2023 Top Workplaces winner. The Top Workplaces program—administered by Energage—boasts a 17-year history of surveying and celebrating organizations that have built people-first workplace cultures. Energage surveys companies nationally and across 60 regional markets to identify the best for each industry sector. Their 2023 Top Workplaces win identifies Tweddle Group as one of the best places to work in the Technology Industry. “We’re proud to see our work environment recognized,” said Tweddle Group President Todd Headlee. “The Tweddle Group team operates at a very high level and has been doing so for nearly 70 years now. They show a tremendous spirit while offering one of the broadest solution suites available to our manufacturing clients. It’s a rare combination. This award is a testament to the quality of our people.”
• Pulp sales of 2,486 thousand tons (-11% vs. 3Q22). • Paper sales1 of 331 thousand tons (stable vs. 3Q22). • Average net pulp price in export market: US$547/ton (-33% vs. 3Q22). • Average net paper price1 of R$7,085/ton (+3% vs. 3Q22). • Pulp cash cost ex-downtime of R$861/ton (-2% vs. 3Q22). • Leverage of 2.7 times in USD and 2.6 times in BRL. • Cerrado Project completes 78% of physical progress and 68% of financial progress.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.518; Month Ago: $3.832; Year Ago: $3.760. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $4.497; Month Ago: $4.569; Year Ago: $5.309.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.723402; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.136645; American Dollar to Euro = 1.054077; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.006668; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.055301.
The U.S Postal Service (USPS) and U.S. Postal Inspection Service (Inspection Service) provided an update on their Project Safe Delivery campaign to crack down on postal crimes, including attacks against postal employees. Announced in May 2023, Project Safe Delivery is a USPS initiative to combat the recent rise in threats and attacks on letter carriers and mail theft incidents by protecting Postal employees and the security of the nation’s mail and packages. Multiple departments within USPS, including the Inspection Service, the Office of the Chief Information Officer, and the Office of the Chief Retail and Delivery Officer are working together to support the ongoing campaign. To help strengthen this effort, the Inspection Service has also significantly increased monetary rewards for information leading to the arrest or conviction of a perpetrator of postal crimes. “As our nation continues to address a sustained crime wave, our targeted focus to crack down on postal crime is progressing,” said Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy. “The safety of our letter carriers — and all postal employees — is our top priority. We will continue to work steadfastly with our law enforcement partners to increase the safety of our employees and protect the sanctity of the nation’s mail.”
Savvas Learning Company, a next-generation K-12 learning solutions leader, announced today that it is partnering with Brainingcamp to provide easy-to-use digital manipulatives that make math learning even more visual and interactive, enabling students to build deep understanding of mathematical concepts. Savvas will offer Brainingcamp’s high-quality, digital math manipulatives with its newest K-8 math programs: the award-winning enVision Mathematics © 2024 and the brand-new, student-centered Experience Math © 2025. Manipulatives, traditionally physical objects used in classrooms, provide an active, hands-on approach to learning that have been proven to help promote students’ engagement and increase their conceptual understanding of math. Complementing physical manipulatives, digital manipulatives make use of expanding technology in classrooms, allowing students to explore concepts more deeply through additional functionality and animation as well as more readily collaborate through screen sharing, onscreen writing, and text tools.
Two Sides has been busy this year, working on behalf of our members to eliminate anti-paper greenwashing claims, to help educate industry stakeholders on hot environmental topics and to conduct research on consumer attitudes toward our industry and its products. To give you a view of what we’ve been up to, here are some of the highlights. Through 3Q24, Two Sides’ Anti-greenwashing Campaign has persuaded 24 more corporations and other organizations to eliminate anti-paper greenwashing claims, which translates to 100 million more consumers who are no longer seeing misleading environmental claims about paper products from their service providers. We are in conversation with several other large companies right now, and continue to pursue claims as we find them. It’s important to note that Two Sides is the only industry organization that directly challenges the senior leadership of major corporations, government entities, educational institutions and other organizations to remove unsubstantiated and misleading environmental claims about paper products.
*Delivered sales of $4.2 billion, up 6.7%, or 8.7% on a daily, constant currency basis *Generated operating earnings of $667 million, up 10.7%, with operating margin of 15.9%, up 60 basis points *Achieved diluted EPS of $9.43, an increase of 14.1% *Produced $523 million in operating cash flow and returned $287 million to Grainger shareholders through dividends and share repurchases *Narrowing full-year 2023 total Company guidance, including an updated outlook for daily sales growth between 8.5% to 9.5% and diluted EPS of $36.00 to $36.60
*Reported sales increased 7% and net income increased 55% to $84 million *Core sales increased 2% and adjusted EBITDA of $193 million increased 26% from the prior year *Pharma proprietary drug delivery systems had double-digit growth across multiple therapeutic applications *Beauty’s prestige and mass fragrance dispensing technologies had double-digit sales growth *Reported earnings per share increased about 56% to $1.26 compared to $0.81 in the prior year *Adjusted earnings per share increased 39% to $1.39 compared to $1.00 in the prior year (including comparable exchange rates) *Margins continued to expand across all three segments *Cash flow from operations was $173 million and free cash flow was $97 million, up from $55 million in 2022, a 76% increase
*Net earnings of $165 million ($0.47 per diluted share); Adjusted operating earnings (non-GAAP) of $224 million ($0.64 per diluted share) *$75 million of earnings achieved from Building a Better IP initiatives, bringing year-to-date to $195 million, exceeding full-year targets *Cash provided by operations of $468 million, bringing year-to-date to $1.3 billion *Returned $160 million to shareholders in dividends, bringing year-to-date to $679 million in share repurchases and dividends *Completed the sale of our Ilim Joint Venture interest for $508 million
January–September 2023 (compared to 1–9/2022) *Sales were EUR 1,519.2 million (1,879.7). *The comparable operating result was EUR 121.5 million 420.0), or 8.0% of sales (22.3). Operating result was EUR 121.0 million (436.8). *Comparable earnings per share were EUR 0.26 (0.90), and earnings per share were EUR 0.26 (0.94). *Comparable return on capital employed was 6.7% (23.0). *Net cash flow from operations was EUR 218.6 million (161.7). July–September 2023 (compared to 7–9/2022) *Sales were EUR 479.0 million (647.3). *The comparable operating result was EUR 5.5 million (152.5), or 1.1% (23.6) of sales. Operating result was EUR 3.1 million (153.4). *Comparable earnings per share were EUR 0.02 (0.33), and earnings per share were EUR 0.01 (0.33). *Comparable return on capital employed was 1.3% (24.7). *Net cash flow from operations was EUR 76.6 million (66.4).
January–September 2023 (1–9/2022) *Sales were EUR 4,624 million (5,239). *Operating result was EUR 443 million (986). Comparable operating result was EUR 431 million (966). *Result before taxes was EUR 438 million (961). Comparable result before taxes was EUR 430 million (934). *Comparable return on capital employed was 8.3% (20.0). *Net cash flow from operations was EUR 487 million (828). July–September 2023 (7–9/2022) *Sales were EUR 1,509 million (1,823). *Operating result was EUR 41 million (397). Comparable operating result was EUR 51 million (391). *Result before taxes was EUR 49 million (396). Comparable result before taxes was EUR 60 million (385). *Comparable return on capital employed was 3.2% (23.5). *Net cash flow from operations was EUR 469 million (372).
Stora Enso has launched a new operating model at its logging sites in Finland to improve the vitality and biodiversity of forests. In practice, this is done by reducing the density of planted spruce from 1,800 seedlings per hectare to 1,600 seedlings per hectare. This will increase mixed-species forests, which is one of the overarching objectives of Stora Enso’s biodiversity programme and part of the actions both in Finland and Sweden. A mixed forest is defined as a forest in which the main tree species does not exceed 75% of the growing stock. It may consist of coniferous trees (such as spruce or pine), broadleaved trees (such as birch), or a mixture of both. These kinds of forests are the environments where biodiversity prospers: especially broadleaved trees create vital habitats for many endangered species. Currently, broadleaves are a minority in boreal forests, which is why concrete actions are needed. As a new endeavor, forestry operations in Finland have expanded their biodiversity programme with the plan to decrease the density of spruce seedlings. Unlike many other tree species, spruce thrives also in the shadow. This means that when planting density is reduced, the spruce seedlings will let in more sunlight and thus create better conditions for other natural tree species, such as pine and birch. Forests that consist of diverse tree species are also more adaptive to the changes and risks posed by climate change..
The Sheridan Worzalla printing facility, which specializes in high-quality children’s books, cookbooks, and hardcover best sellers, is celebrating the release of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: No Brainer. This is the 18th book from the #1 international bestselling series Diary of a Wimpy Kid by author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney, and published by Abrams. Sheridan Worzalla has been the domestic manufacturing headquarters of the popular series since the first book. “We are proud to be entrusted to print the next installment of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series,” said Paul Bozuwa, President of Sheridan. “With our dedication to maintaining quality printing standards, we cannot wait for Wimpy Kid fans to get the latest edition in their hands.” Publisher Abrams announced No Brainer in the spring of 2023 so that Sheridan Worzalla could plan for the production of millions of copies of the 224-page hardcovered young adult fiction book.
Join Brent Niemuth, President, as he jet-sets across Europe's cultural highlights in a journey through the French Riviera, Italy, the Swiss Alps, and Spain. At each destination, Brent draws from local landmarks to reveal a unique facet of branding. From Madrid Spain, Brent encourages us to not only think about the past, but also the future. As a brand it’s important to know your history but it’s equally important to spend time talking about where your brand is going. Watch Video at: https://jschmid.com/branding-abroad-madrid-spain/
Positive outcome reflects the strength in Rottneros’ business model *NET TURNOVER decreased by 14 percent to 693 (806) MSEK. *THE LIST PRICE of NBSK pulp was 21 percent lower in USD and 19 percent lower in SEK compared with the third quarter of 2022. *PRODUCED VOLUME excluding groundwood pulp amounted to 88.8 (85.9) thousand tons, an increase of 3 percent. *SOLD VOLUME of sulphate pulp and CTMP totalled 102.3 (86.1) thousand tons.*EBIT (operating profit) was 49 (185) MSEK. The quarter continued to be affected by a weak European market. *NET PROFIT was 33 (270) MSEK. *THE BALANCE SHEET remains strong.
Key highlights of the 2022 CSR Report include: *EcoVadis Gold Rating: Monadnock received EcoVadis gold rating, placing it in the top eight percent of the 90,000+ companies ranked by EcoV Since earning a silver rating in the 2015 assessment, the company has achieved a 30% improvement in performance level. *Sustainable Resource Management: In 2022, Monadnock enabled its customers to avoid the consumption of 42,400,000 pounds of wood. The company also saw a 58% increase in post-consumer waste (PCW) usage since 2021. *Waste Reduction: Trash to landfill was reduced by 11% over 2021 with an excellent diversion rate of 98.6%. For context, a Zero Waste company is often defined by a minimum 90% diversion rate. *Innovative Collaborations: Monadnock collaborated with a global brand to pioneer a paper-based, 100% post-consumer waste recycled bag closure.
As a family business, the Koehler Group focuses not on its quarterly results, but rather on the long-term future and generations to come. In this second sustainability report, the company provides the first details of its 2030 sustainability strategy and the ambitious targets that it has set itself as a business. The United Nations (UN) has set out sustainable development targets in its 2030 Agenda. All members of the UN – 193 countries worldwide – have committed to implement these targets, known as SDGs. Although the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are first and foremost intended for nation-states, the Koehler group, as a family business, firmly believes that it too has a role to play in meeting these targets. To this end, it has now published its 2030 sustainability strategy for the very first time, setting out the company’s roadmap to sustainable growth. The 2030 sustainability strategy sets out the Koehler plan to ensure all the financial, social, and environmental aspects of the Koehler Group come together to create a more sustainable future.
Mondi plc provides an update on trading for the three months to 30 September 2023. In the third quarter of 2023 the challenging market conditions continued as expected in light of the ongoing weak macro-economic environment. Market demand has remained soft with lower average selling prices largely mitigated by lower input costs and tight fixed cost control. A much-reduced forestry fair value gain resulted in a lower underlying EBITDA of €261 million when compared to Q2 2023. In Corrugated Packaging, containerboard prices were stable with our order books improving. Flexible Packaging saw further price and volume declines in kraft paper, which is traditionally later cycle. Our converting network delivered a resilient performance. Uncoated Fine Paper pricing continued to decline in Europe on ongoing weakness in demand. Southern Africa markets remain stable. The forestry fair value gain, accounted for within uncoated fine paper, was €14 million in Q3 2023, significantly lower than Q2 2023 of €72 million.
Ten UPM Raflatac adhesives for logistics and e-commerce paper labels have been certified as recyclable in the paper and board-based packaging stream by the applied research and services institute Papiertechnische Stiftung (PTS) in 2023. These adhesives are intended for large volume solutions, providing customers with the added benefit of recycling-compatible, verified labeling solutions without requiring any product changes. To evaluate the recyclability, PTS has tested ten UPM Raflatac's paper labels containing the referred adhesives. The labels were tested as part of the packaging material at a mass share of 10%, following the PTS-RH 021:2012 Category II methodology for evaluating the recyclability of paper and board-based packaging. Due to the obtained results of fibre yield, sheet adhesion, and optical impurities, ten of the UPM Raflatac adhesives applied on the paper labels received verification.
Bonnier USA has sold its marine media division to Craig Fuller’s Flying Media Group. The transaction was announced at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. Bonnier’s media division publishes the nation’s leading portfolio of iconic marine brands with Yachting, Boating, Sailing World, Cruising World, and Salt Water Sportsman, produces the award-winning SFTV television series, and hosts the Sailing World Regatta Series. “The sale of our marine media division marks our fifth transaction in shaping a group with full focus on experiential outdoor adventure,” said Jens Mueffelmann, Executive Chairman of Bonnier LLC. “Craig Fuller has vigorously transformed aviation media. He is the perfect new owner of our marine media division.”
As the world grapples with the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, it’s time for bold, decisive action. The private sector plays a crucial role in advancing sustainability, not only within their own operations but also through support for responsible forestry initiatives. In our "Unite in the Forest Fight" blog series, this is the first of three articles that unpacks the importance of forests in our collective efforts against the climate crisis and biodiversity loss. The climate crisis and biodiversity loss are intertwined crises that demand urgent attention. The temperature rises signifies more than just a number – it’s the line between manageable challenges and catastrophe. While we can mitigate some effects at various temperatures, crossing the 1.5°C threshold reveals a tipping point we’re beginning to experience. However, it's not about doom and gloom; it's about recognizing the power we hold to make positive change. The path to a sustainable future is within reach, and the private sector plays a significant role.
The race to combat the climate crisis and biodiversity loss demands on credible action from businesses. In this second blog of the "Unite in the Forest Fight" series, we explore the importance of verified data to showcase tangible impact. Discover how supporting sustainable forestry can drive meaningful change and enhance your business’s reputation. Acting on the climate crisis and biodiversity loss not only boosts competitiveness and financial performance, but also demonstrates social responsibility, while earning customer loyalty and investor support. Regardless of your sector, your business must adopt a robust sustainability strategy to remain relevant. But a strategy alone isn’t enough. Making commitments without follow-through can be risky and may see support for the business dwindle. Added to this is the renewed sense of urgency to do more, faster, as scientists warn that we’re inching perilously closer to an increasingly uninhabitable Earth. The current trajectory suggests we will potentially exceed the 1.5°C temperature-increase limit outlined in the Paris Agreement1.
Proving you’re contributing to the world’s net-zero by 2050 goal is now a business imperative. In this third blog of the "Unite in the Forest Fight" series, we share how companies’ forest stewardship is unlocking tangible benefits with verified data. For far too long, the value of forests has been measured by the quantity of commercial products we can take from them. Unsustainable harvesting of timber, rubber, and other forest products are taking their toll, as is continued deforestation for expansion of agricultural land for livestock feed production, such as soy and, and for crops such as palm oil1. It’s no surprise that each year approximately 12 million hectares of forest are destroyed2. Traditionally, economic incentives have prioritized degradation and conversion at the expense of conservation, often neglecting the vital efforts of forest managers. Yet, as the world confronts the imperative of achieving a global net-zero by 2050, forest stewardship finally finds its rightful place in the spotlight.
American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted (SA) For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index decreased 1.1% in September after rising 0.2% in August. In September, the index equaled 113.9 (2015=100) compared with 115.2 in August. “After hitting a bottom in April, tonnage increased in three of the previous four months, gaining a total of 2.2% before September’s drop,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “However, this freight market remains in flux, and the index contracted by 1.1% in September, which erased half of those gains. Additionally, the year-over-year decrease was the largest drop since November 2020 on a very difficult comparison – September 2022 – which was the previous cycle high. While it is likely a bottom has been hit in truck freight tonnage, there could still be choppy waters ahead as the freight market remains volatile.”
Silgan Holdings Inc., a leading supplier of sustainable rigid packaging solutions for the world's essential consumer goods products, reported third quarter 2023 net sales of $1.80 billion and net income of $110.6 million, or $1.02 per diluted share, as compared to record third quarter 2022 net sales of $1.97 billion and net income of $138.7 million, or $1.25 per diluted share. "Our third quarter results continued to display the strength and breadth of our diverse portfolio, as we delivered our second highest quarterly earnings amidst challenging market conditions. Our high value dispensing business posted another record quarter, and trends in the third quarter developed largely as we expected," said Adam Greenlee, President and CEO.
Smurfit Kappa recently published its second annual Green Bond Allocation and Impact Report which provides details on the use of proceeds of its inaugural €1 billion dual-tranche Green Bond issued in September 2021. Circular economy adapted products, production technologies and processes and/or certified eco-efficient projects (96%) contributing to: *6.8m tonnes of primarily post-consumer waste recycled in 2022 *76% recycled fibres in global production *100% recycled fibres from certified FSC, PEFC or SFI sustainable sources *4% reduction in waste sent to landfill versus 2020 *8% reduction in water intake versus 2020
Consumers are now actively considering the environment alongside their individual health when buying food, according to Tetra Pak’s Index 2023. These environmentally conscious consumers labelled 'Climatarians’ are willing to alter their eating habits to protect the planet. The market for healthy foods is already well established, as consumers actively seek products that will have a positive impact on their physical wellbeing. But a significant majority now take a more holistic view: 70% say that healthy products should not harm the environment, while another 54% are willing to take responsibility for the planet and change their diet to contribute to a better world. This dual focus is reflected in the rising number of consumers consciously reducing the amount of meat they eat, known as 'flexitarians', with nearly half of all consumers saying they are reducing meat intake or excluding meat altogether.
Key highlights Q3 • Higher sales volumes in both regions compared to last quarter, offset by price and mix deterioration • Sequentially lower input costs and lower fixed cost than normalized level • Efficiency enhancement program on track – delivered SEK 175 million in the quarter • Earnings per share positively impacted by recognition of tax credits in the US • Strong operating cash flow with tight control on working capital • Frövi recovery boiler project completed on time, spec and budget. Quarterly data Q3 • Net sales decreased by 14% to SEK 10,210 million (11,814) • Operating profit SEK 415 million (1,536) • Net profit SEK 656 million (1,347)
Operating profit for January-September 2023 was SEK 4 041 million (January-September 2022: SEK 5 905 million). Excluding the item affecting comparability last year, operating profit decreased by SEK 1 599 million due to weaker market conditions for wood products and paperboard. Compared with the second quarter, operating profit for the third quarter increased by SEK 28 million to SEK 1 166 million. The operating margin was 22 (20) per cent. Profit after tax for January-September amounted to SEK 3 159 million (4 606), which corresponds to earnings per share of SEK 19.6 (28.5).
“Earnings per share were in line with our expectations for the third quarter, again increasing sequentially,” said Deon Stander, president and CEO. “Volume in both Label Materials and Apparel Solutions improved sequentially, continuing to recover from slow market conditions, largely inventory destocking, while our Intelligent Labels platform continued to accelerate adoption into new categories. Highlights: *3Q23 Net sales of $2.1 billion -Sales change ex. currency (non-GAAP) down 10% -Organic sales change (non-GAAP) down 11% *3Q23 Reported EPS of $1.71
Massimo Reynaudo has been appointed President and CEO of UPM-Kymmene Corporation as of 1 January 2024. Jussi Pesonen will continue as the President and CEO until 31 December 2023, after which he will work as an advisor to the Company and its management until he will retire from UPM on 30 April, 2024. Massimo Reynaudo has been with UPM since 2017. Reynaudo is an Italian citizen and was born in 1969. He is currently Executive Vice President, UPM Communication Papers. Prior to that, he served as Senior Vice President of UPM Raflatac from 2017 to 2021. Earlier in his career, between 1995 and 2017, he held several senior positions at Kimberly-Clark Corporation. He has a master’s degree in engineering from Politecnico di Torino and additional studies in business administration and management. “Massimo has an excellent international background and a very solid track record at UPM as an engaging change leader. Both in UPM Raflatac and in UPM Communication Papers, he has driven positive change of the businesses, renewed the commercial strategy and built high-performing teams to improve the performance of each business. He has a clear vision of how to continue value creation through UPM’s Biofore strategy. I wish Massimo the best of success in his new demanding role,“ says Henrik Ehrnrooth, Chair of the Board of UPM.
Q3 2023 highlights *Sales decreased by 24% to EUR 2,584 million (3,420 million in Q3 2022) *Comparable EBIT decreased by 72% to EUR 220 million, 8.5% of sales (779 million, 22.8%) *Operating cash flow was EUR 641 million (-201 million), supported by cash inflow from working capital and energy hedges *Net debt decreased to EUR 2,363 million (3,133 million) and the net debt to EBITDA ratio was 1.27 (1.39) *Pulp and electricity sales prices significantly lower than last year, impacting UPM Fibres and UPM Energy. Successful margin management in other business areas *Demand for many of UPM's products started to gradually recover *UPM Paso de los Toros pulp mill and the OL3 nuclear power plant unit contributed significantly to UPM's deliveries *UPM Communication Papers to permanently close its Plattling mill in Germany *UPM received platinum in the EcoVadis responsibility assessment with a high industry score *UPM joined the UN Global Compact Forward Faster Initiative
Stora Enso appoints Ad Smit as Executive Vice President of the Packaging Solutions division and a member of the Group Leadership Team. He will start on 1 December 2023 and report to Hans Sohlström, President and CEO of Stora Enso. Ad Smit is a Dutch citizen and will be based in the Netherlands. He has led the Business Unit Western Europe within Stora Enso’s Packaging Solutions division since January 2023. He has over 30 years of business leadership experience in the packaging industry. From 2012, Ad was the CEO of De Jong Packaging Group, which Stora Enso acquired in January 2023. Prior to that he held various Managing Director positions leading packaging divisions and units at Smurfit Kappa Group for over 20 years. “I’m delighted to welcome Ad Smit to Stora Enso’s leadership team. Ad has extensive experience and a successful track record in the packaging business. He is well placed to both lead the Packaging Solutions division and to optimise the integration and synergies with De Jong Packaging Group,” says Hans Sohlström.
Q3/2023 (year-on-year) • Sales decreased by 28% to EUR 2,127 (2,963) million. • Operational EBIT decreased to EUR 21 (527) million. • Operating profit (IFRS) was EUR -1 (511) million. • Cash flow from operations amounted to EUR 231 (639) million. Cash flow after investing activities was EUR 38 (489) million. • The net debt to operational EBITDA ratio (last 12 months) was 2.4 (0.8). The target is to keep the ratio below 2.0. • Operational ROCE excluding the Forest division (last 12 months) decreased to 4.7% (22.1%), the target being above 13%.
A number of iconic magazines, catalogues and even local newspapers are reviving their print versions to reach their audiences in more relevant and exciting ways. Whether it’s global fashion titles, luxury retail catalogues or community-driven newspapers, people are rediscovering the power of print to make a deep connection with people. Elle Magazine - Four years after it was last printed, the global fashion media brand has made a return to print in Australia, following a resurgence in print magazine sales and associated advertising revenue. NME Magazine - After halting its print version five years ago in favour of an online-only approach, legendary music publication, the NME has returned to print. Neiman Marcus Catalogue - Following the news that Boden has admitted that reducing the scale of their catalogue contributed to a downturn in the company’s fortunes and that they would bring back the widely loved publication, a number of other retail brands are rethinking their attitude to catalogues. Local Newspapers - Print is also making a return at a local level, with publishers and readers rediscovering its ability to forge solid bonds with local communities and feature content that’s highly relevant to its readership.
Packaging Corporation of America (NYSE: PKG) today reported third quarter 2023 net income of $183 million, or $2.03 per share, and net income of $185 million, or $2.05 per share, excluding special items. Third quarter net sales were $1.9 billion in 2023 and $2.1 billion in 2022. Reported earnings in the third quarter of 2023 include special items primarily for certain costs at the Jackson, AL mill for paper-to-containerboard conversion related activities. Results were $.17 above third quarter guidance of $1.88 per share primarily due to higher volume in the Packaging and Paper segments and lower operating and converting costs.
SEE announced that its Board of Directors and Ted Doheny have mutually agreed to transition SEE’s leadership. Mr. Doheny has stepped down as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the Board, effective immediately. He will continue to serve SEE in an advisory capacity to assist in the transition. Effective immediately, Emile Chammas, Chief Operating Officer, and Dustin Semach, Chief Financial Officer, are appointed Interim Co-Presidents and Co-CEOs, in addition to their current roles. The Board is undertaking a comprehensive search, internally and externally, with the assistance of a leading executive search firm to identify SEE’s next Chief Executive Officer.
Nearly half of all new plastic waste entering the ocean each year comes from one ubiquitous source: thin-film plastic made from fossil fuels, that are extracted from the ground, releasing harmful carbon into the atmosphere and displacing wildlife and people from their homes. These flexible films are not readily degradable and difficult to recycle — they can often end up in the ocean, where they can be ingested by sea life. In 2020, Lonely Whale, a nonprofit whose mission is to keep plastic out of oceans, unveiled “Unwrap the Future,” a three phase, multi-year program to vet and scale viable, marine-safe solutions to traditional thin-film plastic. For phase one of the program, the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize was created in partnership with Lonely Whale and TOM FORD, a luxury fashion house.
Net sales in the third quarter were $3,069 million compared to $3,259 million in the third quarter of 2022 reflecting higher beverage can volumes in North America and favorable foreign currency translation of $60 million, offset by lower volumes across most other businesses and the pass through of $187 million in lower material costs. Income from operations was $374 million in the third quarter compared to $297 million in the third quarter of 2022. Segment income in the third quarter of 2023 was $430 million compared to $336 million in the prior year third quarter reflecting the benefits from higher beverage can volumes in North America, the contractual recovery of prior years' inflationary cost increases in Europe and the successful implementation of cost reduction programs in Transit Packaging.
Etimark, a label and package printer based in Switzerland, has made the switch from mercury to UV LED curing for its presses after adopting Flint Group’s EkoCure® Dual Cure ink range. Etimark, known for its customised package printing solutions, made a milestone decision to start using LED curing ink after realising how it could increase print speed, process security, and sustainability while reducing maintenance requirements. Since installing its first LED press in 2020, the international specialist in customised packaging printing transitioned all its production to the EkoCure® Dual Cure ink system in just one year and is now reaping the benefits of this innovative technology. Etimark’s transition to using EkoCure® Dual Cure ink across its LED presses is detailed in a new video that can be found with this link: https://bit.ly/3F126tx
Q3 2023 • Revenue of $1.65 billion, down 5.7 percent, or 7.4 percent in constant currency. • GAAP net income of $49 million, or $0.28 per share, up $432 million or $2.76 per share, yearover-year, respectively. • Operating cash flow of $124 million, up $132 million year-over-year. • Free cash flow of $112 million, up $130 million year-over-year. • Announces Reinvention, expected to deliver improvement in adjusted operating income of at least $300 million by 2026.
PRINTING United Alliance, the most comprehensive member-based printing and graphic arts association in North America, announces that AlphaGraphics has joined the association. AlphaGraphics is a franchised chain of 270 independently owned and operated marketing service providers with full-service print shops. The partnership was officially signed at PRINTING United Expo, taking place in Atlanta on October 18-20. For more information about Alliance membership, visit: www.printing.org/membership. The Alliance serves industry professionals with preeminent education and training through its unparalleled iLEARNING+ online learning platform; comprehensive workshops; highly-sought after research; legislative and regulatory advocacy; HR-related issues; environmental, health, and safety resources and guidance; as well as impactful content through its leading powerhouse media brands. Joining the Alliance provides AlphaGraphics franchisees across the United States with immediate access to all of these premier member programs and services.
Drytac, the leading international manufacturer of self-adhesive materials for the large-format print and signage markets, is delighted to announce the appointment of Chris Crawford as Territory Sales Manager for the Southwest US. Based out of Las Vegas, Nevada, Chris will be responsible for Southern California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. Chris has a wealth of industry knowledge, having worked across both the print and signage markets since 2005. This includes serving in a range of senior positions with various leading print and sign shops, as well as at major print and graphics distributors.
Quarter Highlights *Delivered net sales of $5.1 billion, up 2 percent, with organic sales growth of 5 percent. *Gross margin was 35.8 percent, up 530 basis points versus the prior year, driven by favorable net revenue realization and productivity. *Raised 2023 outlook for organic growth to 4% - 5%, and for adjusted earnings per share growth of 15% - 17%, with adjusted operating margin up 170 basis points at the midpoint versus last year.
Water is essential in the pulp and paper industry, which is why at Lecta we prioritize the efficient use of this valuable natural resource. Our mills have a high rate of water recycling, and the amount discharged is almost equal to the intake. Even though our outlet water is within regulated legal limits, we continue to work on improving water quality to reduce our environment footprint even further and constantly monitor waste disposal. In addition, in our mills there are also closed water systems, in which water is reused repeatedly. Lecta is ambitious in continuing to anticipate and carefully manage our water usage and consumption through increasingly efficient processes and water management strategies
Resale ticket prices are predictably high for the Hawks’ home opener Saturday against the Golden Knights, but they also look healthy for future home games. That’s because brokers are no longer dumping tickets, which should help season-ticket members recoup more value. This season, those physical, printed tickets will finally be available again. After any game they attended, fans can order physical tickets for $10 each. On the front, the ticket looks like an old-school ticket with matchup and seat info, but on the back, there will be stats from the game.
FY24 first quarter service performance scores covering October 1 through October 13, included: *First-Class Mail: 90.4 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Marketing Mail: 94.3 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Periodicals: 86.0 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter.
Outdoor retailer REI Co-op is closing on Thanksgiving and Black Friday again this year as part of its annual Opt Outside tradition. Rather than focusing on profits and sales, the co-op is paying its 16,000 employees to spend the day outside, while calling on the broader community to join and help others to do the same. Today, over 100 million people in the U.S. lack access to quality outdoor space. To help close this gap, REI launched its Outside in 5 initiative earlier this year—bringing together its 23-million member community to partner with nonprofits and support legislation to help everyone in America get outside in five minutes, no matter where they live.
Metsä Group is conducting a pre-study related to the construction of a first commercial mill for producing Muoto™ packaging products on its Rauma mill site, Finland. The goal is to determine the mill’s technical feasibility and economic profitability. It is envisioned that the mill will produce Muoto fibre-based packaging tailored to various uses in people’s daily lives. Muoto is a wood-based alternative to plastics and aluminium in food packaging, for example. In addition to being easy to mould in different shapes, Muoto is lightweight, strong and recyclable. Muoto products have been developed at the joint demo plant of Metsä Group’s innovation company Metsä Spring and Valmet in Äänekoski, Finland, since May 2022. The demo plant has conducted parallel development of the fibre-based packaging and an entirely new production method that converts wood fibre into safe packaging while saving raw material, energy and water.
Reviewing email programs for the holiday season is crucial to ensure that your email marketing campaigns are optimized for this busy and competitive time of year. The holiday season presents a unique opportunity to engage with your audience, drive sales, and strengthen customer relationships. To make the most of this season, brands should ensure their email marketing efforts are well-prepared, strategic, and effective. Read more from our sister company, CohereOne, to learn the key areas to focus on during your holiday email program review. https://cohereone.com/is-your-email-program-ready-for-a-competitive-holiday-season/
Wiley announced its intent to enter a new five-year agreement with the DEAL Consortium, a countrywide consortium representative of more than 1,000 academic institutions in Germany, commencing January 2024. Wiley and DEAL are creating a blueprint for the next phase of open access publishing to better meet the evolving needs of the scholarly community. Their new agreement will continue to provide authors at German institutions with open access publishing options across Wiley’s portfolio. This includes read access to all Wiley journal content. Importantly, the new agreement will deliver ever-more benefits for the German research system by: *Supporting institutions in the transition to OA and honoring the immense value learned societies bring to the scholarly community. *Recognizing the unique investment needs of journals that deliver multiple forms of impact to their researcher communities. *Enhancing infrastructure, including robust workflows to support authors, readers, and librarians, as well as approval and oversight for administrators for OA articles. *Supporting participating institutions with bespoke training and deepening collaboration with the well-established Wiley DEAL Advisory Board to monitor success.
Bereft of reporters who want to do the job, Vermont’s White River Valley Herald is using ChatGPT to cover local meetings. Editor and Publisher Tim Calabro asked ChatGPT to create a summary of a local selectboard meeting, according the Vermont site Seven Days, and compared the result against a transcript of the event. His verdict: “It wasn’t awful.”
Q3 2023 in brief *Net sales decreased 12% to EUR 1,037 million (EUR 1,178 million) *Comparable net sales growth at Group level was -4% and -7% in emerging markets. Q1-Q3 2023 in brief *Net sales decreased 7% to EUR 3,136 million (EUR 3,375 million) *Comparable net sales growth at Group level was -1% and -3% in emerging markets *Capital expenditure was EUR 204 million (EUR 185 million) *Free cash flow was EUR 193 million (EUR -60 million)
At PRINTING United Expo this week, Ashley Roberts, managing editor at PRINTING United Alliance, ran an informative panel session taking a closer look at driving direct mail results using embellishments. She was joined by Tim Armstrong, the founder of Flowcode; Scott Evans, president and CEO of Kenmore Envelope; and Chris Matthews, account manager for Scentisphere. In general, the panel agreed that if there is one thing attendees can take away from the session, it’s that direct mail is a powerful way to connect to individual consumers, forging connections that an online presence alone simply can’t match. But to take direct mail even further and drive response rates up to 30% or more, embellishments are the way to go. Evans noted that “the big trends we’re seeing right now are that embellishments are real, and the drive real response.
Norske Skog’s EBITDA in the third quarter of 2023 was NOK 327 million, a decrease from NOK 380 million in the second quarter of 2023. The main driver for the lower third quarter EBITDA was lower publication paper sales prices. The cash flow from operations in the quarter was NOK 173 million. Deliveries of packaging paper increased according to ramp-up plans, and Norske Skog Bruck received favourable quality feedback from customers. The Norwegian government proposed to increase the quota price floor for receiving CO2-compensation. “We are very pleased by the positive feedback from our containerboard customers, and that we are well underway to become one of the leading independent supplier of recycled containerboard in Europe. At the same time, we are maneuvering our mills to be as cost effective as possible. By the end of the fourth quarter 2023, Saugbrugs PM5, in addition to PM4, will produce and deliver quality SC magazine paper to our customers,” says Geir Drangsland, CEO of Norske Skog. Cash flow from operations was NOK 173 million in the quarter compared to NOK 353 million in the previous quarter, mainly due to lower EBITDA, receivable insurance compensation, and increased working capital. Operating earnings in the third quarter of 2023 were NOK 36 million compared to operating earnings in the second quarter of 2023 of NOK 146 million.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.558; Month Ago: $3.875; Year Ago: $3.836. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $4.475; Month Ago: $4.585; Year Ago: $5.336.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.730693; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.136697; American Dollar to Euro = 1.058834; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.006669; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.054446.
Join Brent Niemuth, President, as he jet-sets across Europe's cultural highlights in a journey through the French Riviera, Italy, the Swiss Alps, and Spain. At each destination, Brent draws from the local landmarks to reveal a unique facet of branding. From Cinque Terre, Italy, Brent asks us, "What makes brands 'sticky'?" and outlines how brand assets can make or break your brand perception, using examples of iconic Italian brands. Watch video at: https://jschmid.com/branding-abroad-italy/
Costco Wholesale Corporation announced that Craig Jelinek has confirmed his intention to step down as Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2024. The Board of Directors has elected Ron Vachris, President and Chief Operating Officer since February 2022, as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2024. Craig and Ron have worked hand in hand over the last twenty-one months in Ron's role as president and for many years before that. This is the culmination of the long-standing succession plan that Craig has discussed with the Board. Ron is a Costco veteran, with over forty years of service to the Company, starting as a forklift driver, and subsequently serving in every major role related to Costco's business operations and merchandising activities. "Costco has a very strong culture and a deep bench of management talent," said Craig Jelinek. "I have total confidence in Ron and feel that we are fortunate as a Company to have an executive of his caliber to succeed me."
Ennis, Inc. is pleased to announce its acquisition of Eagle Graphics, Inc. from Annville, PA and Diamond Graphics, Inc. from Bensalem, PA. Since 1976, Eagle Graphics has specialized in fulfilling the commercial printing needs of its customers. Some of Eagle Graphics capabilities include 8-color UV web printing, digital printing, security printing, jumbo rolls, traditional forms and direct mail. Diamond Graphics, founded in 1999, specializes in Direct Mail printing and has a combination of presses that allow for flexibility. Diamond is known for their Direct Mail printing and the high-volume padding done for the non-profit industry.
Last week, we discussed improving email programs to ensure retailers are ready for the busy holiday season. Today, let's dive deeper and explore strategies for maximizing eCommerce conversions during this critical time of year. To achieve goals, retailers must be strategic, customer-centric, and proactive. Below are some key strategies to consider as we aim to maximize holiday eCommerce conversions: 1. Incorporate shipping deadlines on the homepage and essential product pages. 2. Emphasize scarcity and urgency. 3. Maximize internal site search. 4. Testing and optimizing website speed is crucial, especially during high-traffic periods. There is more to this article at: https://cohereone.com/maximizing-holiday-ecommerce-conversions/?utm_medium=email&_hsmi=278597570&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8s0V14TFsoW4bcfc7U2uB4fPcwxQPi7cDd6Prt3rI8oafZwwguolaVQ60O0C1zTInsqUhjYJGsKVd-RxFchTiPANisvwC816r4THwwwXIGMEv7e2k&utm_content=278597570&utm_source=hs_email
Total revenues across all categories for August 2023 were up 8.5% as compared to August 2022, coming in at $1.5 billion. Year-to-date revenues were up 0.6%, at $8.0 billion for the first eight months of the year. Trade (Consumer Books) revenues were up 8.9% in August, coming in at $785.0 million. In terms of physical paper format revenues during the month of August, in the Trade (Consumer Books) category, Hardback revenues were up 17.4%, coming in at $277.8 million; Paperbacks were up 8.9%, with $295.1 million in revenue; Mass Market was down 19.1% to $12.2 million; and Special Bindings were up 15.0%, with $19.6 million in revenue. eBook revenues were down 3.7% for the month as compared to August 2022 for a total of $87.1 million, and the Digital Audio format remained up at 5.7% for August, coming in at $68.2 million in revenue. Physical Audio was up 21.1% coming in at $1.3 million.
With a recent poll concluding that the majority of Americans would prefer to return to pre-internet days, are we just seeing a nostalgic yearning for simpler times or is there something deeper and more complex going on? The poll1 revealed that the desire to return to an unplugged era is surprisingly strong among the younger generation and is not strikingly different from those who are old enough to remember not having smartphones and easy internet access. While 77% of Americans aged 35 to 54 said they would prefer a return to their analog roots – the highest of any group in the survey – an eyebrow-raising 63% of 18- to 34-year-olds also agreed with this sentiment. The survey also revealed that 57% of people under 35 agreed with the statement that “technology is more likely to divide people than unite them”– an indication that the social media generation may be growing weary – and wary – of the world of feuding tech billionaires, Chat GPT and Deepfake.
American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear told members of the European Parliament that the international governing body should embrace realistic, achievable timelines to reduce emissions, rejecting California’s unrealistic and unreasonable timelines. “California’s development of the Advanced Clean Truck and Advanced Clean Fleet rules aim to create a zero-emission vehicle market beginning next year. Given where the technology, infrastructure, power grid, cost and operational requirements stand, these regulations will undoubtedly fail to deliver the vehicles and market adoption California seeks,” Spear said in his testimony. “California’s response is predictable: They will just adjust the timelines and percentage targets, unleashing even more uncertainty for the industry. This was the case for the passenger vehicle industry, and we expect history to repeat itself.” ATA has consistently called for unified regulations across all 50 states. Spear noted that next year, because of California’s extreme regulatory push, the industry will be forced to contend with dueling regulatory regimes – one for California and one for the other 49 states.
Crawford Packaging is pleased to announce its new partnership and distribution agreement in Central Mexico with StePacPPC, a global leader in Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) solutions for shelf-life extension of fresh produce. StePacPPC’s products are revolutionizing fresh produce packaging by naturally altering gas composition and controlling moisture within the packaging, creating an environment that extends the produce shelf life, preserves freshness, and reduces spoilage in the supply chain. The partnership between Crawford Packaging and StePacPPC builds upon an already well-established cooperation between the two companies in Canada. This joint collaboration in the Central Mexican market is a testament to their shared dedication to bringing value-added solutions to the produce marketplace.
Tetra Pak and Lund University have announced the launch of Biotech Heights, a new research hub that will explore food and materials production using bioprocessing to create useful products from living cells or cell components. Biotech Heights will establish an open innovation environment, in which all participating organisations will have access to world leading laboratories and equipment for both commercial and academic purposes. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to work alongside several faculties at the University to address both the technical and non-technical challenges facing producers, brands, and manufacturers operating in this space. This, combined with Tetra Pak’s experience supporting food and beverage brands with product development, will make Biotech Heights a space to nurture and test ideas, and collaborate to share knowledge on best practices and consumer trends.
Supremex Inc., a leading North American manufacturer and marketer of envelopes and a growing provider of paper-based packaging solutions, announced optimization initiatives aimed at improving operational efficiency and achieving synergies within its Packaging and Specialty Products segment. These initiatives are expected to result in annual cost savings of approximately $1.5 million once all measures are implemented. First, the Company is closing its Saint-Hyacinthe facility, acquired as part of the Impression Paragraph Inc. transaction completed earlier this year. Production of packaging products carried out in Saint-Hyacinthe will be transferred to existing packaging facilities in the Montreal area. Supremex also announces the departure of Simon Provencher, President of the Packaging segment. Following his departure, the Company revamped its Packaging management structure under which three general managers will be responsible, respectively, for folding carton, e-commerce, and the commercial printing activities.
Amazon, Booking.com, Expedia Group, Glassdoor, Tripadvisor, and Trustpilot announced they have teamed up to launch the global Coalition for Trusted Reviews, a cross-industry collaboration committed to protecting access to trustworthy consumer reviews worldwide. Together, members will define best practices for hosting online reviews and sharing methods of fake review detection, aiming to stop fake reviews at the source. Companies met in October 2022 in San Francisco at the first ever Fake Reviews Conference, organized by Tripadvisor. Attendees heard from experts in government, academia and the industry at large on common challenges and potential mitigation approaches related to the issue of fake reviews. This resulted in the establishment of a formal coalition to collaborate on public education and ongoing information sharing between members, in an effort to decrease review fraud.
Amazon is making a key tool in its fight against counterfeit products more readily usable by brands selling on its platform. The e-tail giant is making Amazon Transparency, its product serialization solution designed to prevent counterfeits from being sold on its site, interoperable with brands’ own product serialization systems. Interoperability will enable brands that already have their own product serialization on their products or packaging to have access to Transparency’s protections without requiring any changes to their existing manufacturing and packaging processes.
Ski publication Powder magazine is back in print with its Powder 23/24 Photo Annual. Powder provides daily online content, but “one question was seemingly on the mind of nearly every skier: 'When is Powder coming back to print?' writes Matt Lorelli, the lead trending news writer for Powder, on the magazine’s site. The Powder team is “ecstatic to say that Powder, The Skier’s Magazine since 1972, is officially back and ready to be enjoyed once again as founders Jake and Dave Moe intended -- in print,” Lorelli adds.
The role of food packaging in improving resource circularity has become more vital than ever as the emphasis on sustainability increases across the globe, especially in Europe. With that, many brands are facing the challenge of providing more sustainable packaging solutions without compromising consumers’ convenience and product safety. Consumer and market expertise are critical to staying up to date with new and upcoming sustainability requirements and having the ability to leverage breakthrough innovations to incorporate them in the development of new solutions. Aptar’s SimpliCycle, a fully recyclable valve for use in dispensing closures, is a recent demonstration of Aptar’s commitment to sustainability without compromising performance. Like other flow control valves that we have brought to market over the past 30 years, the SimpliCycle valve results in a clean and controlled product dispensing throughout the life of the package. With SimpliCycle, consumers get a cleaner and more convenient product squeeze while brand owners benefit from a fully recyclable closure.
Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc., the global leader in High Purity Cellulose, announced that it has engaged Houlihan Lokey as its financial advisor to explore the potential sale of its paperboard and high-yield pulp assets located at its Temiscaming site. This strategic move is aligned with RYAM's commitment to enhancing its operational and financial performance, optimizing its portfolio to align with its long-term growth strategy, and providing flexibility to pay down debt and reduce leverage. The engagement of Houlihan Lokey, a renowned global investment bank, underscores RYAM's dedication to a rigorous and diligent evaluation of its strategic options.
UPM Specialty Papers, Lantmännen Unibake and Adara have co-created a new fibre-based packaging that replaces plastic bags as primary packaging for frozen baked goods. To minimize the use of fossil-based materials, the companies joined forces to create a solution where the plastic bags were eliminated by using UPM Asendo™ barrier paper as an inner liner in the corrugated cardboard box; the barrier paper layer ensures food safety and freshness. “The partnership with Lantmännen Unibake and Adara opened the opportunity to unite our expertise across the food packaging value network to create a renewable and recyclable packaging solution for frozen bread. Lantmännen Unibake and a third-party food industry development company conducted thorough testing and analysis on the impact of packaging materials on the taste of the frozen bread; as a result UPM Asendo was chosen as the inner liner for the cardboard box. The food safe UPM Asendo barrier paper layer has proven to offer the grease and moisture resistance needed while ensuring food safety,” says Kirsi Lahtela, Product Manager, UPM Specialty Papers.
FY24 first quarter service performance scores covering Sept. 30 through October 6, included: *First-Class Mail: 91.0 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Marketing Mail: 95.8 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter. *Periodicals: 85.7 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter.
The American Trucking Associations recognized 10 state trucking executives for their time representing the industry with Trucking Association Executives Council Service Awards. “These STA Execs, along with so many of our state trucking association executives here today, work daily in their respective state capitals and localities to promote, preserve and protect the interests of our great industry,” said TAEC National Chair Shannon Newton, president and CEO of the Arkansas Trucking Association. “Politics at the state level versus the federal level is about as different as night and day. Whereas the legislative process at the federal level tends to get totally bogged down for myriad reasons, legislative initiatives in state capitals actually move – often without warning and rather quickly. This fast-paced environment presents many unique challenges for industry advocates, and that’s not even mentioning the never-ending association management challenges we all face.”
Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced the new upcoming1 varioPRINT iX1700 B3+ size inkjet digital sheetfed press, designed to deliver an exceptional combination of high print quality and fast, efficient production for the demanding commercial, in-plant, and direct mail print markets. Introduced as an expansion of Canon’s broad digital press portfolio, the varioPRINT iX1700 color inkjet production press joins the varioPRINT iX-series within Canon’s sheetfed inkjet portfolio, combining the flexibility of sheetfed printing with production inkjet. Engineered for reliable, high productivity and consistent, high quality, the new press will be based on a compelling blend of brand new and proven Canon technologies.
Drytac, the leading international manufacturer of self-adhesive materials for the large-format print and signage markets, is delighted to announce the North American launch of its new Drytac Polar Blockout UV opaque printable block out film. Joining the Drytac Zero range of products, Polar Blockout UV is a 2.0 mil (50μ) highly opaque layered white PET film with a matte finish. It is coated with a white pressure-sensitive, permanent aqueous acrylic adhesive which is protected by a 50# siliconized PE coated release paper. It is the ideal solution for two-sided window graphics and other block out layer requirements. The film’s high opacity prevents graphics from showing through on the other side when being used as a cover up graphic, offering a highly effective solution to customers seeking to produce bold and impactful applications.
Amazon Prime members saved more than $1 billion across millions of deals during Prime Big Deal Days on October 10 and 11. For the second year, Amazon kicked off the holiday shopping season with a two-day exclusive shopping event for Prime members, helping members get everything they want and need, quickly and reliably across hundreds of millions of items worldwide. “Prime Big Deal Days was a strong start to the holiday shopping season, offering Prime members an exclusive early opportunity to save and surpassing our expectations. This event outpaced last year’s holiday kick-off event, with more Prime members shopping this year,” said Doug Herrington, CEO of Worldwide Amazon Stores. “Millions of Prime packages in the U.S. have already been delivered, and we’ll continue to offer fast, free delivery across our wide selection throughout the holidays. Thank you to our employees and selling partners around the world for their continued commitment to our customers as we head into this busy shopping season.”
An increase of U.S. tariffs on Chinese made goods could have a major impact on American consumers’ spending power. That's according to the National Retail Federation’s latest study, “Estimated Impacts of Changes to China’s Tariff Status,” which finds that consumers could lose $31 billion in spending power if U.S. tariffs are raised on common household products like microwaves, t-shirts, toys, footwear and more imported from China. This figure comes out to $240 per household in higher prices for widely-used items. “Many elected officials and others have expressed a growing interest in a number of trade policy and practice changes that would affect U.S. trade with China,” said NRF. “Chief among them is a proposal to terminate China’s ‘permanent normal trade relations’ (PNTR) trade status, subjecting imports from China to ‘Column 2’ tariff rates, which can be much higher than ‘normal trade relations’ rates. Some have even suggested raising the rates higher than ‘Column 2’ rates.”
Thomas G. Day was officially sworn in as a commissioner of the Postal Regulatory Commission and named vice chairman of the agency by a unanimous vote of commissioners; while Commissioner Robert G. Taub begins his third term with the agency after being confirmed by the United States Senate on September 28, 2023. PRC Chairman Michael Kubayanda said “I am pleased to continue serving alongside Commissioner Taub and to serve with Commissioner Day. They are experienced and highly skilled public servants who have contributed significantly to the nation and our postal system, and will continue to do so.”
A host of new titles and a solid performance by the adult segments led to a 4.7% increase in unit sales of print books last week over the week ended October 8, 2022 at outlets that report to Circana BookScan. Adult fiction returned to its winning ways with sales up 7.1%. There was no single blockbuster driving sales, but five new releases were among the category’s top 10 bestsellers. Hannah Grace’s Wildfire took the #1 spot, selling nearly 60,000 copies. Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Chainsaw Man, Vol. 12 was in third place, selling over 33,000 copies, followed by Judgment Prey by John Sandford, which sold more than 28,000 copies.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is pleased to announce an upcoming1 product, the LabelStream LS2000 inkjet press, which is being designed to serve the surging demand for digital, high-quality label converting. This inkjet press implements many newly developed Canon technologies highlighted by high-density aqueous ink, printhead, advanced fixing system and a variety of automation features to support efficient production. The entry into the U.S. label printing market is a natural evolution to support current multi-discipline print providers and expand into new markets. Our entry is built on the success of delivering high quality roll-to-roll and sheet-fed inkjet solutions via a network of strong customer support.
Domtar has partnered with PRINTING United Alliance to plant trees as a result of a special sustainability program for PRINTING United Expo 2023. For each registrant at the PRINTING United Expo, Domtar will plant two trees in coordination with local landowners. The event is being held Oct. 18-20 in Atlanta. The seedlings will be planted in early 2024. Participants will have a lasting effect on forestlands just by registering for the event. Last year, the event attracted around 30,000 participants. If participation stays on pace with 2022, more than 60,000 seedlings will be planted in partnership with small forest landowners who work with Domtar to manage their forests responsibly. “We’re delighted to collaborate with PRINTING United Alliance on this initiative, to highlight sustainable forestry and our ongoing efforts to support responsible stewardship of forestlands,” says Paige Goff, vice president of sustainability for Domtar.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.628; Month Ago: $3.848; Year Ago: $3.913. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $4.480; Month Ago: $4.514; Year Ago: $5.189.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.731094; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.136855; American Dollar to Euro = 1.052716; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.006684; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.055826.
Walmart is committed to delivering high-quality milk to meet the growing demand of our customers. Today, we’re excited to share we are furthering that commitment with the opening of an owned and operated milk processing facility in Valdosta, Georgia. The new facility, which will break ground later this year and create nearly 400 Walmart jobs in the Valdosta community, has innovation at its core. It will bolster our capacity to meet the demand for high-quality milk, while making our supply chain more resilient, and building even more transparency around sourcing. Using ingredients sourced from local farmers, the new facility will process and bottle a variety of milk options including gallon, half gallon, whole, 2%, 1%, skim and 1% chocolate milk for Walmart’s Great Value and Sam’s Club’s Member’s Mark brands. The products from the facility will serve more than 750 Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs in the Southeast.
Learning technology company HMH today announced that its leadership consulting organization, the Center for Model Schools, and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, are partnering to support superintendents and school system leaders as they work to transform their communities, improve teaching and learning and advance equity. The Center and AASA will provide opportunities for ongoing leadership collaboration throughout the year to deepen connections and support student success. Through the new Superintendents Teaching and Learning Network supported by both organizations, district leaders will engage in a multi-year effort to develop and refine their transformation strategies with experts and peers and apply their learning within their communities. Additionally, the Center’s Model Schools Conference, which brings together 5,000 educators annually, will become a milestone event for AASA’s educational leadership initiative, AASA Learning 2025.
Google has built an ad-measurement tool that connects with marketers’ first-party data and is designed to work without browser cookies and other data tools that measure performance based on old methods. Google Ads Data Manager -- the measurement tool announced Wednesday -- will become available in Google Ads early next year. The product roadmap includes rolling it into other Google platforms as the company continues to streamline the management and use of first-party data. Advertisers will learn about connecting data sources and ensuring consumer data privacy as the advertising industry heads into the new year, and Google deprecates third-party cookies for 1% of Chrome users globally in the first quarter of 2024.
Savvas Learning Company, a next-generation K-12 learning solutions leader, is proud to introduce Experience Math, a brand-new, K-8 student-centered program that engages students through exploration and a hands-on learning approach while also supporting teachers with high-value, in-the-moment professional learning to create collaborative classrooms. Developed by Marian Small, Ed.D., an internationally renowned mathematics educator and author, Experience Math provides teachers with resources for intentional teaching and informed decision-making to help them become better practitioners. The new program also focuses on deepening students’ understanding of math concepts by encouraging them to be active mathematical thinkers and problem-solvers.
WBA fourth quarter sales increased 9.2 percent from the year-ago quarter to $35.4 billion, an increase of 8.3 percent on a constant currency basis, reflecting sales growth in the U.S. Retail Pharmacy and International segments, and sales contribution from the U.S. Healthcare segment. Fourth quarter operating loss was $450 million compared to an operating loss of $822 million in the year-ago quarter. Net loss in the fourth quarter was $180 million compared to a net loss of $415 million in the year-ago quarter, primarily driven by a lower operating loss.
Digital media is significantly expanding the opportunities for printed direct mail campaigns. NAPCO Research has launched a comprehensive report, Direct Mail and Digital Media: A Winning Omnichannel Marketing Combination, which explores the key drivers behind the increased effectiveness of direct mail, the methods through which digital media enhances its performance, and the fresh opportunities accessible to those in the direct mail printing industry. Evolution on many fronts has heightened the value of direct mail and strengthened opportunities for direct mail printers. Over 89% of direct mail users participating in a NAPCO Research survey currently integrate or plan to integrate digital media and direct mail. A top factor driving direct mail demand is the ability to boost its performance with digital media to create omnichannel campaigns.
Paper Excellence Canada is pleased to announce a $175,000 contribution to support the ongoing recovery efforts for individuals, families, and communities in Shelburne and Barrington, Nova Scotia, who were affected by the wildfires in June 2023. Of the total funds, $115,000 will directly support families rebuilding damaged and destroyed homes, and $60,000 will support the We Rise Again Fund – Shelburne County’s efforts to help community members recover. Paper Excellence is grateful for its contribution partners, Freeman Lumber and Scotsburn Lumber, who are providing more than $66,000 in in-kind lumber to support rebuilding efforts, and Wilson’s Home Hardware Barrington for helping Paper Excellence provide families most in need with building supplies.
To assist customers with their preparations for the upcoming busy holiday shopping and shipping season, the U.S. Postal Service is providing 2023 holiday shipping and mailing deadlines. The information below covers domestic, international and military shipping destinations to allow for the timely delivery of cards, letters and packages by Dec. 25th. The Postal Service has announced it will not have a peak, or demand, surcharge this holiday season, offering increased predictability in pricing for customers. As always, the Postal Service offers simple, upfront pricing year-round with no additional fees for residential area delivery, for Saturday delivery, no fuel surcharges and no volume minimums. The Postal Service continues to be the most affordable way to mail and ship this holiday season.
Wiley announced the departure of Brian Napack as President and Chief Executive Officer and the appointment of Matthew Kissner as Interim CEO, effective immediately. Mr. Kissner previously served as Wiley’s Group Executive and Board Chair, as well as Interim CEO from May to December 2017. Wiley will be rescheduling its planned October 12 Investor Day for a later date to be determined. In June, Mr. Napack and Wiley’s executive leadership announced a value creation plan that includes intensifying focus on Wiley’s strongest and most profitable businesses, divesting non-core assets, and rightsizing and streamlining the Company. Mr. Kissner will leverage his in-depth knowledge of Wiley’s operations and his professional experience to execute this plan and ensure a smooth transition. As previously disclosed, Fiscal 2024 is a transition year for the Company with the benefits of the value creation plan expected to be realized in fiscal year 2025 and 2026.
UPM Raflatac, a global supplier of innovative and sustainable self-adhesive paper and film products, announces a new line of Graphics Solutions, now available in North and South America. UPM Raflatac acquired AMC AG in Germany last year, which included this line of high-quality self-adhesive films and laminates, large format versatile printing and sign films. “Following a successful portfolio of these Graphics Solutions in Europe, we are excited for the opportunity to partner with distributors and provide quality, cost effective materials here in the Western Hemisphere,” stated Gabrielle Whittaker, Director, Films & Specials, UPM Raflatac Americas.
Reviewing email programs for the holiday season is crucial to ensure that your email marketing campaigns are optimized for this busy and competitive time of year. The holiday season presents a unique opportunity to engage with your audience, drive sales, and strengthen customer relationships. To make the most of this season, brands should ensure their email marketing efforts are well-prepared, strategic, and effective. Here are some key areas to focus on during your holiday email program review: 1. Ensure that your automated feeds are actually on and working. 2. Abandon cart emails have one of the highest engagement and conversation rates. 3. Is your ESP capturing all abandoned cart / browse emails? 4. Incorporate a first-time buyer nurture series. Click Read More below for additional insight.
Customer loyalty is much more nuanced than points-based rewards programs! Explore five research-backed strategies with real-world examples from brands like Patagonia, Lego, Native and more. You'll walk away with a score of new ideas that you should embrace to drive true loyalty and connection. Lauren Ackerman, VP Client Strategy at J.Schmid will share insights related to customer loyalty and translate them to marketing tactics that will: • Use emotion to move your audience • Build a strong community with social media and in-person events • Refine the customer journey around the points of the purchase – online and offline, from triggered emails to the box experience • Turn error into opportunity by above-and-beyond handling of returns and mistakes • Prove you “know” them with customer journey messaging, personalization, versioning in direct mail and beyond. Register at: https://www.ana.net/membersconference/show/id/MOC-OCT23E6
SCREEN Graphic Solutions Co., Ltd. announces its cooperation with KYOCERA Document Solutions Inc. in the development of the Truepress JET S320, an A3 sheetfed digital inkjet printer. The Truepress JET S320 prototype will make its debut at PRINTING United Expo October 18–20, 2023, in Atlanta, Georgia. In recent years, especially in the commercial printing and publishing markets, there has been a shift toward businesses utilizing digital printing technology. This change is driven by a broader societal shift toward businesses that leverage digital data. In contrast to the traditional production of broadcast-style advertisements and prediction-based mass production, there is now a demand for data-driven targeting and personalized advertising materials. This shift has resulted in a move toward production that involves printing only the necessary quantity at the required time, often with targeted messaging.
International technology group ANDRITZ will rebuild a paper machine at Holmen Paper’s Braviken mill in Sweden to provide maximum production flexibility. Start-up is planned for autumn 2024. This order follows Holmen Paper’s recent successful entry into the packaging market with an innovative lightweight corrugated board product. The rebuild of PM52 will enable Holmen Paper to increase the production of fluting for corrugated boxes. ANDRITZ will implement a sophisticated technology concept allowing to easily switch production between the different paper grades.
Drytac, the leading international manufacturer of self-adhesive materials for the large-format print and signage markets, is delighted to announce that Glen Fitzgerald has been promoted to the position of Director of Sales for the Americas. In his new role, Glen will assume responsibility for overseeing all graphic and industrial sales across the Americas, a key region for Drytac. Glen has been promoted to the senior role after serving as Technical Sales Manager for Industrial Products in Canada since joining Drytac in September of 2021. He played a major part in Drytac’s ongoing expansion within the Canadian market in that time.
Norske Skog has completed a transaction for the sale of the Tasman mill industrial site and remaining mill assets to the Australasian pulp, paper, and packaging group Oji Fibre Solutions for approximately NOK 70 million (NZD 10.9 million). The sale of the mill site and realisation of certain other related assets, including buildings, electricity equipment, piping, water, and other infrastructure, will generate a total financial gain on sale of approximately NOK 57 million (NZD 8.8 million). “We are pleased to finally have concluded this sales agreement with Oji after lengthy process of negotiations and obtaining all required regulatory approvals for the sale. The sale of the Tasman industrial site to Oji is a material steps towards concluding Norske Skog’s long-term business commitment in New Zealand,” commented Geir Drangsland, President and CEO of Norske Skog.
The United States Postal Service filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of mailing services price changes to take effect Jan. 21, 2024. The new rates include a 2-cent increase in the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp, from 66 cents to 68 cents. The proposed adjustments, approved by the governors of the Postal Service, would raise mailing services product prices approximately 2 percent. As inflationary pressures on operating expenses continue and the effects of a previously defective pricing model are still being felt, these price adjustments are needed to provide the Postal Service with much needed revenue to achieve the financial stability sought by its Delivering for America 10-year plan. The prices of the Postal Service remain among the most affordable in the world.
Unit sales of print books fell 4.1% in the first nine months of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022, at outlets that report to Circana BookScan. A weak third quarter, in which sales dropped 6.7%, accelerated the decline; for the first half of 2023, sales were down 2.7%. Sales in every major category fell, with the most notable development being the third-quarter swoon in adult fiction, where sales dropped 7.6%, leaving it 0.2% below the first nine months of 2022. (To be fair, adult fiction sales in last year’s third quarter had jumped 38.5% over the third quarter of 2021.) Graphic novels, which posted huge gains in 2021 and 2022, continued to see sales slide in 2023, with units down 24.3% in the nine-month period. Even with the big decline, graphic novels was the third-biggest adult fiction subcategory, trailing only general fiction and romance. Despite cooling in the summer, the romance genre was up 16.5% over the first nine months of 2022.
Mester Grønn has together with Stora Enso developed a plastic-free transportation tray for plants. The new PureFiber™ Horti tray is made from formed fiber and reduces CO2 emissions compared to the plastic alternatives. Mester Grønn is hoping the new tray will have a positive effect on the entire industry’s environmental impact. With an ambition to replace plastic where they can, Mester Grønn set sight on the single use plastic trays used for transporting plants from growers to flower shops. They discussed with Stora Enso about finding a new sustainable option. It should be plastic-free but still had to meet three criteria: 1. Stiffness and Resilience: The tray needed to retain its rigidity in both dry and humid conditions. 2. Efficiency in Logistics: It needed to follow industry standards to fit the existing logistical chain. 3. Water Resistance: The new material had to be able to withstand exposure to water.
In the dynamic world of printing and finishing, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for success. One remarkable achievement in this quest is the completion of our training on the Primera Pro Saddle Stitcher, a significant milestone for our team here at Schumann Printers, Inc. (SPI). This state-of-the-art machine has been an investment in both technology and skill development, and we are proud to announce that it is now up and running, ready to elevate the quality and efficiency of our printing and finishing processes. The Primera Pro Saddle Stitcher is a high-performance finishing machine that combines precision, speed, and versatility. It is designed to handle various print finishing tasks, but its primary function is saddle stitching. Saddle stitching is a binding technique that is commonly used for booklets, brochures, magazines, and catalogs. With the Primera Pro, we have not only embraced this technique but also have the capability to execute it flawlessly.
With the slogan "Paper as a Sustainable Story", Lecta will present its innovative range of top quality recyclable, biodegradable paper especially designed for the publishing industry. The Condat and Garda brand coated papers and the Coral Book uncoated papers are the perfect canvas for the compelling stories and journeys books take us on. Made using natural, renewable raw materials, these papers are a reflection of Lecta's commitment to sustainability and its ongoing search for environment-friendly paper solutions. In this edition, Lecta's goal is to strengthen its relationship with the publishing sector by also sharing its ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) initiatives and targets. This is part of our continuous efforts to become an increasingly sustainable company, and thus contribute to creating a better world.
FY23 fourth quarter service performance scores covering July 1 through September 29, included: *First-Class Mail: 91.5 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.1 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter. *Marketing Mail: 95.2 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Periodicals: 86.3 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 2.6 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter.
Adobe released its online shopping forecast for the 2023 holiday season, covering the period from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, 2023. Based on Adobe Analytics data, the analysis provides the most comprehensive view into U.S. e-commerce by analyzing commerce transactions online, covering over 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail sites, 100 million SKUs and 18 product categories. Adobe Analytics is part of Adobe Experience Cloud, relied upon by over 85% of the top 100 internet retailers in the U.S.* to deliver, measure and personalize shopping experiences online. Adobe expects U.S. online holiday sales to hit $221.8 billion this holiday shopping season (Nov. 1 to Dec. 31), representing 4.8% growth year-over-year (YoY). In the 2022 season, shoppers spent $211.7 billion online, and saw 3.5% YoY growth.
Sonopress, a manufacturer of storage media that is part of Bertelsmann Marketing Services, has developed a revolutionary new form of vinyl LP that drastically reduces the environmental impact of the manufacturing process. The product is being launched in collaboration with Warner Music, a long-term client of Sonopress. This new vinyl is produced using recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) as its base material, which can also be made from 100% recycled PET, rather than polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Pressing the discs requires neither natural gas nor steam, and a test operation saw energy savings of up to 85 percent compared to the traditional process. A first production line for the innovative LPs – dubbed Eco Record – was put into operation by Sonopress on Thursday at its plant in Gütersloh, Germany, following a series of tests last year.
The Washington Times recently featured an opinion piece by an advocate for the plastics industry that included multiple unsubstantiated environmental claims about paper-based packaging. Two Sides North America submitted the following letter to the editors in response. To the editors: Why is it that whenever someone wants to extoll the sustainability benefits of plastic packaging products, they feel compelled to claim that plastics have “a lower environmental impact” than paper-based packaging (America succumbs to plastic paranoia, September 26) instead of simply making a fact-based environmental case? Could it be because paper products are the gold standard for circularity and true sustainability?
The Regional State Administrative Agency for Western and Inland Finland has given public notice of the environmental permit application filed for the Kaskinen paperboard mill of Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, on 6 October 2023 The permit applications will be available for public statements and comments for 37 days at https://ylupa.avi.fi/fi-FI The mill project’s environmental impact assessment process ended on 22 September 2023 when the South Ostrobothnia Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment issued its reasoned conclusion. Metsä Board initiated pre-engineering for the new paperboard mill in Kaskinen in the autumn of 2022. Planning is based on fossil free production and world-class resource, production and environmental efficiency. Metsä Board estimates that any investment decision will be made in 2024 at the earliest.
Tweddle Group announced a new vendor agreement with Harbinger, a leading manufacturer of best-in-class electric vehicle (EV) technologies, allowing Harbinger clients to offer a cost-effective solution for adding EV options to their commercial medium-duty EV and RV product lines. Tweddle Group will provide Harbinger with service manual content, labor operations development, body builders guide, incomplete vehicle manual, electronic parts catalog content, a web-accessible parts catalog interface, and a vehicle service web portal to house and distribute product information.
When brother and sister duo Fuzzy and Tami Marek took over their father’s business, they dove headfirst into an industry they weren’t the most familiar with. Fast forward almost 20 years later and the siblings have transformed the family business into an industry leader in field sales effectiveness and marketing execution services. If you ask Fuzzy Marek, CEO and co-owner of Waukesha, Wisconsin-based The Marek Group, he says that if his father were to see the company today, he wouldn’t recognize it — but that’s not a bad thing. “My father started the company in the early '70s. It was primarily a very small, couple person lettershop in Milwaukee. He started it and grew it over time, but it was primarily in the commercial print and fulfillment space,” Marek says.
As sustainability efforts and initiatives continue to take the spotlight, a recent life cycle assessment (LCA) conducted for the Corrugated Packaging Alliance (CPA) shows that the corrugated packaging industry has achieved substantial reductions in the environmental impacts of corrugated cardboard boxes. A release from Fibre Box Association (FBA) revealed the details. “Reducing carbon emissions is the most important thing we can do for a more sustainable future,” said CPA Executive Director Bob McIlvaine. “Additional improvements in land, air, and water indicators highlight the industry’s progress and reaffirm our longstanding commitment to sustainable manufacturing across operations.” CPA is a corrugated industry initiative jointly sponsored by the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), AICC – The Independent Packaging Association, FBA, and TAPPI, a release explained. Its recent LCA shows a 50 percent per unit reduction in greenhouse gas emissions between 2006 and 2020 for the corrugated packaging industry, showcasing its commitment to tackling climate change.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded Current: $3.746; Month Ago: $3.803; Year Ago: $3.867. National Average Price for Diesel Current: $4.546; Month Ago: $4.452; Year Ago: $4.883.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.729270; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.138637; American Dollar to Euro = 1.056599; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.006709; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.054782.
Join Brent Niemuth, President, as he jet-sets across Europe's cultural highlights in a journey through the French Riviera, Italy, the Swiss Alps, and Spain. At each destination, Brent draws from the local landmarks to reveal a unique facet of branding. This time, Brent draws inspiration from the top of the Alps in Lausanne, Switzerland. Welcome to a series where culture meets branding insights, delivering quick and practical insights that redefine your understanding of brand identity and success. Watch video at: https://jschmid.com/branding-abroad-the-swiss-alps/
Costco Wholesale Corporation reported net sales of $22.75 billion for the retail month of September, the five weeks ended October 1, 2023, an increase of 6.0 percent from $21.46 billion last year. The five-week period this year included the last week of the 53-week fiscal year 2023 ended September 3, 2023.
Two UK newspapers have found a way of coping with ever-rising print costs. News UK and DMG Media propose to form a joint venture to combine their printing operations. This would include the printing operations of Newsprinters (News UK) and DMG Media printing sites in Thurrock (Essex) and Dinnington (South Yorkshire). A new company would be created to run the combined print operations. Specifically, the three current Newsprinters sites in Broxbourne (Hertfordshire), Knowsley (Merseyside) and Eurocentral (Glasgow) would be retained. This could mean closure of the DMG Media sites in Thurrock and Dinnington.
Amcor has been recognized for its AmSky™ and AmPrima™ more sustainable packaging solutions, earning a place on Walmart’s ‘Circular Connector’ platform. Circular Connector, established by retail giant Walmart, is a platform that makes it easier for sourcing teams and brands to quickly find more sustainable packaging solutions for the products they put on Walmart shelves. Being able to easily source more sustainable packaging solutions will enable the brands, and Walmart, to achieve their sustainability goals while driving a circular packaging economy. AmSky offers a world’s-first, recycle-ready blister pack for pharmaceuticals. AmPrima is a portfolio of recycle-ready packaging solutions with a low carbon footprint, applicable in different packaging formats from bags to packs and pouches, for both solid and liquid content.
The economy is top of mind for most people right now, with new numbers flashing in front of our eyes every day, with differing opinions on what they mean and how they will impact us. Even more important — how will these numbers impact your printing business, specifically? It’s not enough to look at the broad economic picture, you need to know how it affects our industry. According to the PRINTING United Alliance annual State of the Industry Report, sponsored by Canon U.S.A. Inc., published in June 2023, the picture isn’t fantastic, but it’s not quite as bad an outlook at it could be.
As market demand for high-performance, sustainable building materials is increasing, Ahlstrom continues to grow its glass fiber tissue business and strengthen its manufacturing platform globally by completing a major investment at its plant in Madisonville, KY, U.S. Ahlstrom’s product portfolio for the construction industry, FibRoc®, offers carriers, facings, and backing solutions protecting against fire, flame spread, moisture, and water. All of Ahlstrom’s glass fiber tissue solutions are fluorocarbon-free and have formaldehyde-free options.
Mondi plc announced the agreement to sell its last remaining facility in Russia, Joint Stock Company Mondi Syktyvkar, together with two affiliated entities to Sezar Invest LLC for a total cash consideration of RUB 80 billion. Mondi is pleased to confirm closing has been accelerated and the sale has now completed. Mondi has therefore concluded its exit from Russia. Mondi has received RUB 57 billion into its London bank account and it is in possession of a letter of credit for the final RUB 23 billion, which will be paid in two equal instalments in each of November and December 2023. It is intended that the net proceeds from the sale of all Mondi’s Russian assets will be distributed to Mondi shareholders in a timely manner once the final instalments of the consideration in respect of Mondi Syktyvkar have been received.
Graphic Packaging Holding Company announced it will permanently decommission the K3 coated recycled paperboard (CRB) machine in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The K3 machine is one of three CRB machines at the Kalamazoo facility and is the company's longest-running machine. K3 ceased operation on July 1 and today's announcement reflects the decision to permanently shut down the 125,000-tons per annum machine. Removing higher-cost, less efficient production capacity is part of Graphic Packaging's CRB optimization plan first announced in 2019 alongside the transformational investment in a new, state-of-the-art K2 CRB machine. Permanently decommissioning the older machine is the company's next step of network optimization. With K2 reaching expected quality, cost improvement and volume commitments ahead of schedule, the permanent decommissioning of K3 supports more efficient resource use and margin enhancement goals for the CRB network, while continuing to service increased customer demand for high quality coated recycled paperboard.
We’re excited to announce Canopy™, a sustainability program that provides a curbside-recyclable alternative to PE shrink film for tray bundling! We are collaboratively bringing this program to market with WestRock and just displayed Canopy™ with working demos during PACK EXPO 2023. Canopy™ Wrap has passed rigorous ISTA 3 Series testing, is coated for moisture and abrasion resistance, and provides a printable surface for showcasing branding. Canopy™ Equipment can be retrofitted to existing bundling machinery or installed as a dedicated high-speed bundler.
Digital printing remains a lucrative growth market in the printing industry worldwide. It now accounts for some 20 percent of the global print production volume (PPV) and is growing at an annual rate of around three percent. The latest Versafire generation from HEIDELBERG offers systematically enhanced digital presses for the commercial sector. The company is thus taking the integration of offset and digital printing to the next level and further strengthening its market position in the digital segment. “Our integrated solutions are a must for anyone who is looking to combine offset and digital printing and use them efficiently in tandem. That’s because HEIDELBERG has comprehensive process and application knowledge relating to both these printing methods, which makes us unique in the industry,” says HEIDELBERG CEO Dr. Ludwin Monz.
Mondi is helping farmers grow their crops, having partnered with Cotesi to replace conventional plastic mulch film with a paper solution, Advantage Kraft Mulch. Mulching films protect crops from birds, weeds, soil erosion, sun and heavy rain. These films are traditionally made from plastic, rolled out during planting and then removed and disposed of at harvest. Mondi’s Advantage Kraft Mulch provides a sustainable paper alternative: the solution is made from 100% kraft paper, created from responsibly sourced wood, with no plastic or coating. Advantage Kraft Mulch is an industrially compostable paper solution certified according to DIN EN 13432 and provides a comparable level of protection as plastic mulch film. Field trials currently underway are promising: the kraft paper remains strong, inhibiting weed growth, and is expected to decompose after the harvesting season is finished.
UPM Raflatac, a global supplier of self-adhesive paper and film products, will showcase their more sustainable sticky notes products at the Insights-X stationery expo in Nuremberg, Germany on 11-14 October 2023. UPM Raflatac will be participating in the expo under the Global Notes by UPM Raflatac brand name after acquiring the AMC AG and the Global Notes brand in 2022. UPM Raflatac will introduce its new UPM Notes product range. UPM Notes offers a selection of different colorful sticky note pads and cubes made from FSC™-certified (FSC C003094) paper. To eliminate the use of unnecessary plastic, the notes are wrapped in transparent FSC™-certified plastic-free paper, making the packaging renewable, recyclable, and significantly lighter when compared to traditional cardboard packaging. UPM Raflatac is the first in the market to offer an innovative beyond fossils alternative for packaging sticky notes.
Learning technology company HMH today announced its successful achievement of ISO 27001 certification for its Information Security Management System (ISMS). This certification underscores HMH’s unwavering commitment to maintaining the highest standards of information security and safeguarding the confidential data of its customers and stakeholders. ISO 27001 is an internationally recognized standard that sets forth requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an ISMS within the context of an organization's overall business risks. This certification demonstrates HMH’s dedication to mitigating risks and protecting sensitive information.
Macy's, Inc. announced an accelerated expansion of its small-format store strategy, potentially tripling the total number of its small-format stores through fall 2025. Beginning in 2024, up to 30 new Macy’s small-format locations will open across the country. This expansion is in addition to the nearly 15 small-format Macy’s and Bloomie’s locations that Macy’s, Inc. currently operates. Paired with a premier digital experience, these small-format stores enhance the company’s store portfolio with a mix of the best on- and off-mall locations, to deliver a seamless shopping experience across channels.
Faced a growing number of different state privacy laws, the Association of National Advertisers and 4A's on Monday launched a new initiative that aims to persuade federal lawmakers to pass a national data law that would override state laws. “We have spent years waiting for the federal government to do something,” Marla Kaplowitz, president and CEO of the 4A’s told MediaPost Monday. “We worry that that if we don't get to federal data privacy legislation, we're in big trouble,” she added. The new Responsible Privacy in Advertising Initiative expects to also update an industry self-regulatory code by the first quarter of 2024. The ad groups plan to then seek widespread compliance with the new code, and will likely argue to Congress that a federal privacy law should allow advertisers to harness data in ways permitted by the updated code.
Trading since 1990 and with over 30 years of expertise in the print and paper industries, Dynamic Print has built up a wealth of knowledge regarding the print processes, paper and design. “Sustainability is a highly important subject and we are seeing our customers wanting more sustainable options when choosing the materials for their print projects. At Dynamic Print we have made sure to offer a full range of eco-friendly, fully sustainable printing and paper options. We have also entirely committed to “a Rewilding project” transforming our industrial estate unit “rubbish tip garden” into an environmentally friendly diverse space, creating a vegetable patch, customer and staff seating area, 4 various-sized ponds, a food and paper composter made out of pallet waste and we have seen wildlife in the garden from wild rabbits, hedgehogs, bats, moles and nine species of birds. Joining Two Sides brings many new ways we can communicate to our customers just how sustainable print really is. We’re delighted Dynamic Print are now members.” says Sarah Smith, Managing Director for Dynamic Print.
Greif, Inc. announced it has acquired Reliance Products, Ltd., a leading producer of high-performance barrier and conventional blow molded jerrycans and small plastic containers in Canada. The all-cash transaction, which reflects approximately 6.75x proforma adjusted EBITDA, was funded through Greif's existing credit facility. With a single operating location in Winnipeg, Canada, Reliance's operations are strategically located to serve the primary agriculture markets in North America. Reliance products utilize a unique in-mold fluorination barrier (IMF) process which provides a compelling additional capability to the Greif portfolio of barrier technologies.
Mactac® Engineered Tapes & Laminates announces it will have a leading presence at the 2023 Tape and Functional Film (TFF) Expo, showcasing a wide variety of bonding and laminating tapes for diverse applications. “Mactac has been providing specially engineered, high-quality adhesive tapes for bonding, mounting and fastening applications for more than 60 years and we are excited to show expo attendees what Mactac tapes are made of,” said Janet Page, General Manager, Mactac Engineered Tapes & Laminates, and TFF advisory board member. “Our products are constructed for high-performance long-term applications, economical temporary applications, and everything in between. They are formulated in-house, and they are cleaner and greener than other pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSAs) on the market.” Mactac tapes feature attributes such as high strength, excellent tack and peel, superior shear performance, near-immediate adhesion, ease of product handling and die-cutting, and chemical and UV resistance. Mactac leads the industry in sustainable manufacturing practices as one of the first manufacturers to specialize in 100% solids adhesive technology.
Schumann Printers has had the honor of working with Communication Arts for over a decade printing the go-to resource that showcases exceptional design, advertising, illustration, photography, interactive, and typography. Our partnership has been marked by unwavering commitment to quality and a shared dedication to graphic design excellence. We are thrilled for them to be recognized in Creative Boom's recent article titled, "Print's Not Dead: The Best Magazines for Graphic Design Inspiration."
Conwed, a Mativ brand and globally recognized netting manufacturer, unveiled its newly refreshed branding and a contemporary website that more distinctly features its innovative extruded, oriented, and multilayer netting offering for agriculture, packaging and consumer goods, filtration, industrial, medical, erosion control, energy applications, and more. The new look honors Conwed’s legacy and credibility while advancing the brand as modern and innovative. The visual identity pays homage to the original Conwed logo and includes a globe representing how Conwed often “hold the world together.” “Conwed is well-known for its innovative products and industry leading quality. Our new visual identity reintroduces customers to the idea that Conwed is an essential partner of leading manufacturers in a variety of markets,” says Vishal Rao, President, Industrials business unit, Mativ.
Ahlstrom is extending its product range of pressure-sensitive adhesive packaging tape applications. MasterTape® Pack supplements the fiber-based product offering supporting megatrends like e-commerce and the global need for more sustainable packaging solutions. There are approximately 30 billion square meters of packaging tape worldwide, and the numbers are growing with the expansion of e-commerce. Ahlstrom's MasterTape® WAT and MasterTape® Pack offer a high-quality product range for packaging tape applications. They address the need for high-quality performance packaging tape backings while providing customers with a sustainability-driven tape solution that protects and secures packages with the utmost care.
As part of our 2030 Sustainability Strategy, Lecta has taken a further step in our track record with EcoVadis, the world's most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings. We have just begun a new partnership at the Group level to assess sustainable performance throughout our supply chain. Through this partnership, we aim to enhance transparency and accountability in our procurement processes using the strict standards set by EcoVadis' methodology. Lecta's suppliers will be evaluated on the four key pillars of sustainable development: environment, labor, business ethics and sustainable procurement. These evaluations will enable us to identify areas for improvement and work closely with our suppliers to drive positive change. This is essential for our goal of delivering the highest quality products while minimizing our impact on the planet and society, as well as ensuring compliance with European Green Deal objectives, one of Lecta's main commitments.
Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals for water-intensive industries, completed the acquisition of CedarChem LLC on October 2, 2023. As part of the acquisition, Solenis will acquire all CedarChem operating assets. Headquartered in Cedartown, Georgia, CedarChem offers a full suite of water and wastewater treatment products for industrial and municipal markets, primarily in the southeastern U.S. The acquisition aligns with Solenis’ direct go-to-market strategy to provide customers with improved chemical and wastewater treatment product and service offerings.
FY23 fourth quarter service performance scores covering July 1 through September 22, included: *First-Class Mail: 91.4 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.2 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter. *Marketing Mail: 95.2 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal third quarter. *Periodicals: 86.2 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 2.7 percentage points from the fiscal third quarter.
Remember when Banned Books Week used to be billed as a “celebration” of the freedom to read? This year, Banned Books Week (running October 1–7) will once again be more like a call to arms, as new surveys and reports show that a well-organized political movement is continuing to drive record numbers of book bans across the nation. For more than 40 years, the ALA’s Banned Books Week has spotlighted attempts to censor books in libraries and schools, uniting librarians, booksellers, publishers, and readers in support of free expression. Reading advocate, writer, and actor LeVar Burton is leading this year’s Banned Books Week as honorary chair.
The Group’s €5 million investment in the plant enables it to purify water to the highest standards before it can be returned to the environment. Purified water can also be partially reused in the process, further reducing water consumption by up to 90%. This innovative treatment also reduces electricity usage and CO2 emissions by up to 80%. This latest investment underscores Smurfit Kappa’s ongoing commitment to water stewardship and follows recent similar initiatives across its plants in Europe and the Americas. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, said: “Today is an important day for environmental protection in Belgrade and throughout Serbia. This is a day that represents a turning point for the sustainable development of our country. By 2025, all companies have a deadline for introducing wastewater treatment plants. Smurfit Kappa did this two years ahead of schedule by building the first industrial biological plant. This is an example of how all business people in Serbia should join the policy of sustainable development".
Preferred Direct is proud to announce the successful installation of a new Hunkeler-Horizon roll-to-fold converting machine and a new performance upgrade to their HP 250 Digital Press. Purchased from Standard Finishing Systems, the addition of the Hunkeler Roll to Cut to Horizon AFV-566/T564 Folder System marks a pivotal step for Preferred Direct’s production capabilities. This advanced technology streamlines the process of converting large rolls of paper into neatly folded, ready-to-mail products. The machine’s precision and speed will provide a seamless transition from printing to finishing processes, reducing turnaround times, and increasing overall efficiency. Furthermore, Preferred Direct has invested in a performance upgrade for their existing HP 250 Digital Press. The upgrade now allows the company to achieve an impressive speed of 800 feet per minute (fpm) for monochrome print and mail jobs. This upgrade will accelerate production while maintaining exceptional print quality for Preferred Direct’s transactional and informational print clients.