Advanced Manufacturing

Palatka’s Georgia-Pacific Plant Works to Keep Up with Toilet Paper Demands

While stores might have trouble keeping toilet paper on their shelves, a manufacturer with an operation in Northeast Florida is doing it what it can to keep up with demand.

Georgia Pacific, which has roughly 1,000 team members in its Palatka plant, shipped out 120 percent of its normal capacity in recent weeks, in trying to keep up with increasing demands for essential paper products like toilet paper and paper towels.

The Palatka distribution center is already running 24/7 and now they’re increasing shipments, making direct deliveries and working with customers to reduce their distribution time.

“It’s all about focus on optimizing our systems and just doing everything that we can safely and critically, to meet that need,” said Mark Brown, Georgia Pacific’s spokesperson.

With demands staying two to four times the normal amount, Brown says that they’ve worked hard not only to ramp up production but to work with logistics partners to get the products out and fast. Brown added that he doesn’t believe demand will slow down anytime soon.

Georgia Pacific manufactures both Angel Soft and Quilted North bath issue, as well as paper towels.

“We’ve also been working with key suppliers to ensure we have enough packaging supplies to maximize the quantity of products that we can deliver to customers,” Brown said.

Georgia Pacific doesn’t think the company will need to add any additional employees in order to handle the demand.

Brown said they are continually reviewing market conditions and adjusting their operations to meet demands as the demands shift day to day. However, despite the spike in demands and expedition of large shipments, inventories of toilet paper remains healthy at Georgia Pacific — unlike most supermarkets and grocery stores.

“We’re expecting to see the current activity for the time being continue in terms of forecasting demand,” Brown said.

Brown added that he would encourage consumers to purchase only what they absolutely need so that others have an opportunity to restock as well. The average household only needs nine double rolls or five mega rolls of toilet paper a week, he said.

“It’s good to keep in mind, what you actually need and we want to encourage consumers to use good judgement and purchase what they actually need right now,” Brown said.

By Ellen Schneider,  Jacksonville Business Journal, April 7, 2020