Detroit — Resin distributor M. Holland Co. saw improved demand during tough times in 2022.
“Resin demand is very strong, but this is the third year that we’re saying, ‘We’ve never seen this before,'” said Executive Vice President Marc Fern in a May 25 interview at the Injection Molding & Design Expo in Detroit. “First we had COVID, then the ice storm, and now supply chain issues.”
He added that this year increased fuel and logistics costs have impacted customers, as has the availability of truck drivers.
“If the driver doesn’t show up, we have to spend more to do the same delivery,” Fern said.
For M. Holland, based in Northbrook, Illinois, the availability of polyethylene resin has improved in 2022, according to Fern. Polypropylene resin availability has also improved, but he said the company “still isn’t getting everything we wanted.”
Looking ahead, Fern said M. Holland will look to add more engineering resins to its offering and expand its international distribution into Latin America and Europe. The company will also look to increase automation in its warehouses.
“Automation is less labor intensive and requires less manual intervention,” he said. “Amazon has changed our expectations.”
M. Holland has also received more requests for recycled content materials. “Sustainability is a long-term trend that impacts us and all distributors,” said Fern. “We’re getting more requests for recycled content, but there isn’t an unlimited supply of this material.”
He added that the company, which has made five acquisitions since 2012, “is always on the lookout for acquisitions, but we have to see what economic environment we’re going to be in.”
At the end of 2020, M. Holland entered into a distribution partnership with JL Goor Materials, a materials supplier based in Ireland. The move was the company’s first formal business venture in Europe. JL Goor distributes raw materials and engineering resins primarily in Ireland and the UK.
M. Holland has also added 3D printing and laser sintering materials from five suppliers since late 2020. Most recently, in April 2021, the company began offering materials from Infinite Material Solutions, Kimya by ARMOR, and taulman3D.
Earlier this year, M. Holland received a bronze rating from EcoVadis for its corporate sustainability programs. M. Holland improved its rating as of 2020 based on advancements in its diversity and inclusion program, wellness benefits, career development, and other areas.