Packaging manufacturers foresee at least 1,500 jobs impacted by facility closures and layoffs announced in October. Those companies continue to give insight during Q3 earnings calls into footprint optimization plans and weakened demand that’s driving some of those decisions.
- Billerud, a Swedish pulp and paper manufacturer that acquired North American producer Verso in 2022, announced in an Oct. 25 earnings report that in Q4 it will take steps to “drive efficiency and long-term competitiveness through reducing up to 350 positions” across all parts of the company.
- Greif is permanently closing a facility in Santa Clara, California, effective Nov. 15, impacting 74 employees, according to a worker adjustment and retraining notice received by the state on Oct. 11. Citing information from Greif, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reported that costs at the facility “are among the highest on the continent for what it makes.” The facility is listed under Newark Group, which was under Caraustar Industries when Greif bought that company in 2019.
- Hood Container, which describes itself as a “mill to market solutions company for containerboard & kraft paper, corrugated boxes, graphic displays” and more, is permanently closing a facility in Matthews, North Carolina, affecting 88 employees. The Atlanta-based company’s notice with the state was dated Oct. 19 and the closure is expected to be effective Dec. 19.
- International Paper announced Oct. 18 it would permanently close its containerboard mill in Orange, Texas, affecting 565 positions. It is also ending production at two pulp machines in Riegelwood, North Carolina, affecting 200 positions, and Pensacola, Florida, affecting 100 positions. The company said altogether approximately 900 positions would be impacted by these optimization plan-driven changes.
- Novolex is closing a plant where its brand Shields makes film and flexible packaging in Coldwater, Ohio, according to an Oct. 2 notice with the state. Layoffs are expected between December and March, and the closure will affect 59 employees.
- Printpack is permanently closing a facility in Hendersonville, North Carolina, effective Dec. 31, affecting 90 employees, according to a notice filed with the state Oct. 26.
- Silgan Containers is laying off 70 workers at a metal can manufacturing facility in Hoopeston, Illinois, according to an Oct. 2 notice. Silgan said in its Q3 earnings report Oct. 25 that it would undertake “footprint rationalizations” through the end of 2025 as part of a $50 million cost reduction program.
- Sonoco is permanently closing a plastics packaging, film and sheet manufacturing plant in Fremont, Indiana, on Dec. 15, according to an Oct. 10 notice with the state. The company says the closure will affect 53 employees, with further employment reductions expected June 30, 2024.
- Ardagh Metal Packaging may close its beverage can production facility in Whitehouse, Ohio, the company disclosed in conjunction with its Oct. 26 earnings report. The plant, which has about 107 employees, has been part of AMP’s manufacturing footprint since 2016. "While the possibility of a plant closure is a difficult step to consider for our team members and our communities, we must take steps to balance capacity and demand," Jens Irion, CEO for AMP-North America, said in a statement, noting the company is “exploring ways to strengthen our regional manufacturing efficiencies.” A final decision is expected by Dec. 31. On the earnings call, executives also discussed ongoing efforts to optimize the company’s European footprint, in part by closing certain remaining steel lines in Germany and migrating to more efficient aluminum lines.
- Graphic Packaging International announced Oct. 4 it would permanently decommission its K3 coated recycled paperboard machine, which it idled in July, at its mill in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The company said the move is part of its optimization plan. “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,” the company said in the announcement.