Posted on April 6, 2020 by Michael Boik

Covid-19 And the Packaging Industry

These are strange times with a lot of uncertainty and confusion regarding the status of many businesses across the country and even on a global scale. As the Federal government extends their guidelines through the end of April, and many state governments have followed suit with shelter-in place orders for a similar timeframe, or even longer, most non-essential businesses are no longer operating as usual for the foreseeable future. Sadly, this has greatly impacted many companies and their employees.

Fortunately, as of the time of writing this post, the packaging industry is largely keeping up with the demand. DTC packaging is crucial now more than ever due to an increased need for businesses to be able to adapt to the times and guidelines and meet their customer’s needs in situations where a retail store or physical location may be temporarily closed.

At Salazar Packaging, our focus remains consistent throughout this unusual time in our country. Our commitment to our customers is unwavering. Many of our customers have reached out to us over the past several weeks to ask questions specific to the Covid-19 crisis, as it pertains to our business. Many of those questions are answered below.

Is Salazar Packaging still open and operational?

We are! While many of our office employees are now working remotely for the time being, we are still open and operating as an essential business here in Illinois. Keep in mind that we have over a dozen manufacturing partners spread out across the country, here in the Midwest, down south and even out on the west coast. While some of these plants are operating at reduced hours or capacity, with rotating shifts or other restrictions, we have been amazed at how smoothly they have transitioned, and how order after order, none of them have skipped a beat so far.

What are your current lead times?

Our standard lead time on a custom printed box is typically 2 weeks from final approved artwork. As of today, we are inclined to tell our customers that lead times are between 2-4 weeks on a first time order, and about 2-3 weeks on a repeat order. While we don’t anticipate this to change, it is important to keep in mind that during the Covid-19 crisis, it’s always better to hope for the best but expect the worst. This means assuming a 4 week lead time, even if it turns out we may be able to turn it around in 2. We simply don’t know from one week to the next what the plant schedule will look like, not to mention things that are out of our control, such as board availability, disruptions in the supply chain or any unexpected plant closures.

If I don’t need boxes until the Summer, should I order now?

This is a good idea in normal times, but especially now give the uncertainty. Again, the packaging industry is looking very good today, but we simply don’t know what tomorrow brings. We can’t project what happens next week, let alone next month, so it’s important to plan ahead. If you think you need boxes in May, June or even July, it’s probably a good idea to get the order in to us now so that we can have them ready to ship to you hopefully well ahead of when you need them by. If you have the storage space, ordering at a higher volume than what you project you might need is also not a bad idea to avoid having to reorder sooner than expected. We have seen many of our customers placing orders in bulk to cover what they will need for several months. The added benefit of this is that ordering at higher volumes always reduces the per unit cost of custom boxes.

Is Salazar Packaging still serving both existing AND NEW customers?

Absolutely. In our 13 years, Salazar Packaging has always been at the forefront of adapting to changes within the industry, and this is no exception. We are here, ready to serve whether you are a decade-long customer, or a first-time inquirer. Through conversations over the past few weeks, we understand that many start up companies still plan on proceeding with Summer launches, and we are eager to meet that challenge with you.

Is there anything that we should be aware of?

The biggest “change” that we have seen from the various partners we work with, is that freight carriers are cracking down on redelivery fees and delivery guidelines. They want to make sure, whether it is a business, warehouse, office or home address, that the location is open and available to receive the shipment. I can only imagine that this is a direct result of so many businesses being closed or working reduced hours and not alerting the carriers as to what their new limited hours of operation may be. In many cases, if the receiver is not open to accept the delivery, the carrier is returning the freight directly to the initial shipper at a fee. The best thing you can do is ensure that if you are placing an order, that you are able to provide a ship to location that is open and able to accept the shipment to avoid additional freight fees. Another thing to be aware of is that freight carriers are also adhering to social distancing guidelines. This means that many carriers are not accommodating inside deliveries. In many cases the driver will only make a delivery to a loading dock, or curbside delivery. Please keep this in mind.

Please Contact Us Today

We want you to know that we are here for you and happy to answer any additional questions you may have. We’re happy to walk you through an initial consultation and find a custom packaging solution that works for you. As always, if you have any questions, one of our branded packaging advisors is standing by to assist, with decades of experience behind them. Want to know more about custom packaging? Please call us today at 630-551-1700 or contact us via email at


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