With store shelves empty of paper products in Putnam County and some areas across the country, Georgia-Pacific said it’s prepared to meet the demands of customers.
Sales of bath tissue and paper towels have spiked due to coronavirus. GP’s mill in Palatka produces, among other brands, Angel Soft and Quilted Northern toilet paper.
“Across Georgia-Pacific and at the Palatka mill, we are working to meet our customers’ demands and are not currently experiencing production issues – but we’re monitoring the situation and will have to continue to see how the national response develops and whether further impacts could arise,” said Mark Brown, spokesman for GP’s Palatka plant.
“In general - given the current situation surrounding the coronavirus/COVID-19, and just cold and flu season in general, we anticipate more handwashing – especially given how everyone is focused on and talking about good hand hygiene and preventing the spread of germs.
“We do expect some ‘away from home’ activity to decline as business travel and vacation plans change, along with companies encouraging employees to work from home when it makes sense. But we also anticipate, and have seen, some increase in demand of our retail products as consumers consider the potential need to stay at home. We have a number of operations across the country, so we address production across the larger ‘footprint’ to supply our customers with our products.”
GP has about 1,000 workers at its Palatka facility.
In a company statement, GP said manufacturing operations that produce toilet paper are currently operating normally.
“We are doing our best to meet consumer demand. We’re doing this through our use of existing inventory, increasing our production, and using a managed distribution process to smartly manage through this unusual period.
“Inventory levels across our system remain healthy and we are working hard to maximize the number of deliveries we can load and ship out of our facilities – you can just load and unload so fast. Last week our mills and regional distribution centers managed to ship out 120% of normal capacity. We also are working with customers to have direct shipments when possible to reduce distribution time. We currently don’t have any issues with carrier capacity (trucks and trailers) to ship.”