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25 May 2021

State of the Industry: A Message from the APPA President and CEO

There are positive signs (and consistent reports from APPA members) to suggest that the promotional products industry is in the midst of a strong recovery from 2020.

Although some of us in Australia and New Zealand may feel that COVID-19 is behind us, the reality is that this global pandemic has and will continue to have an ongoing and prevalent impact on local industry.

New challenges are ahead of us and some of these are surfacing now:

  • Price increases are evident due to the ongoing rising costs of sea and air freight.
  • Stock shortages are becoming the norm at the moment. Suppliers are aiming to bring in more and more stock, however, delays stemming from the availability (or there lack of) of air and sea freight to get the goods to Australia and New Zealand will be ongoing for some time.
  • Production delays are evident right across the industry, a consequence of the March sales boom. This could be from a mix of different reasons- that we have all experienced during COVID-19 (2020), with lower staffing levels, reduced staffing hours and many other reasons we have all experienced during this time.

We felt it was important to communicate these issues with all members as it has now become apparent that the pre-COVID trend of rush deliveries and quick turn-arounds is no longer a viable reality for everyone in the industry.

Now more than ever before, it is imperative that suppliers, distributors and decorators work closely together and open their lines of communication to ensure timely delivery of goods and services to clients to preserve the integrity of our industry.

It is equally important for distributors to communicate the impact of the pandemic on their operations to their clients so they too are conscious of what issues may arise, and why.

The promotional products industry proved itself to be remarkably strong and adjusted as best it could to the social, cultural and political upheaval that characterised the year 2020. Collectively, we were successful in supplying PPE to industries and clients who needed it most- and many businesses excelled by supplying these during a particularly dark time for Australians.

Just as we did in 2020, we as an industry need to remain strong, positive and connected to one another- supplier, distributor and decorator- to ensure our industry is prepared for what the second half of 2021 will bring. 

Stay strong, support one another, and know that APPA is always here to support you and your business.

Robert Williams, APPA President
Wesley Fawaz, APPA CEO

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