NOTE: The Raw Material-Related Surcharge was discontinued as of Dec. 31, 2021. Please contact your Account Representative with questions or for more information.
The past year has been unprecedented in so many ways, from the changes we have made in our personal lives to the dramatic impact on business operations at every level. COVID-19, incredible weather events and other factors have affected businesses of all sizes. At Caplugs, we have adapted to new processes, fluctuations in commodity availability and the new realities of operating safely. While progress in vaccination worldwide begins to offer hope of a return to more normalcy, we continue to face challenges with logistics, material availability and pricing. These factors hit the plastics, rubber and adhesives industries incredibly hard, resulting in material delays and commodity costs unlike those seen in well over two decades.
The raw material supply chain has been dramatically impacted. When many operations shut down or saw reduced capabilities at the height of the pandemic, this led to a slowly increasing gap between demand and availability. Then, as companies began to return to more normal working operations, demand rose sharply, leading to a run on the market for raw materials and packaging supplies.
The plastics industry was further impacted by weather events that slowed or stopped raw material production, including hurricanes that ravaged the south in 2020 and damaging winter storms that struck Texas and Louisiana in February 2021. Many producers were offline for over a month, which further reduced material availability. We have seen prices for some raw materials increase by over 110% since June 2020, with costs for some of the hardest hit materials increasing by 50% or more in 2021.
Caplugs is committed to being able to offer the most extensive catalog of protective parts with an exceptional level of in-stock availability. We know when you need parts, you need them quickly, which is why we have taken steps to ensure an adequate supply of materials to allow us to deliver on our on-time promise to meet your demands.
We are working daily with raw material suppliers to ensure we can continue to fulfill orders rapidly, but with the fluctuations in the marketplace in terms of both availability and rising costs, this has had two major impacts on our operations. First, we needed to make more space available to store materials in a greater quantity than in the past to protect against volatility in material availability. Secondly, we have been subject to price fluctuations that have increased our raw material costs substantially.
Throughout the fluctuations in the marketplace, we have worked to manage our operations through these elevated operating costs. However, with the market instability and issues with supply and demand continuing to persist, we are implementing a temporary Raw Material-Related Surcharge of 9.9% on your order. This total will be shown as a line item on your invoice.
This measure is temporary, and we will monitor raw material fluctuations closely and adjust on a quarterly basis as needed. Our goal is to reduce or remove this surcharge as soon as material prices normalize.
We know this is difficult news, and we welcome any feedback on this adjustment as well as any other aspect of our business. Caplugs strives to be your trusted partner, and this temporary measure allows us to continue to deliver what you need when you need it and be your product protection partner.