RINCON — Georgia-Pacific’s Savannah River Mill is rolling out toilet paper as fast as it can.
Stores around the nation were emptied of toilet paper and other paper goods last last week when consumers started hoarding items in the wake of emergency declarations at the state and federal levels because of COVID-19.
The Savannah River Mill, which opened in 1986, features more than 900 workers who make quality tissue, towel and napkin products.
“At Georgia-Pacific, our primary focus is to do all we can to meet consumer demand and to get shipments out to our customers as rapidly as possible,” Georgia-Pacific Public Affairs and Communications Manager Carrie Thompson said. “We have a number of operations across the country, so we address production across the larger ‘footprint’ to supply our customers with our products. We are making as much as we can and are getting it out through our existing supply chains.
Savannah River Mill makes both away-from-home products (like those in hospitals, restaurants and other locations) and retail products. The overall product mix shifts between these two markets and right now it is currently make more away-from-home products than retail.
“There are Georgia-Pacific retail tissue, towel and napkin brands that are made by other facilities within our overall Georgia-Pacific ‘footprint’ and that are not made at our mill. We’re working hard to get all that we do make to our customers through our GP supply chains,” Thompson said.
For the Georgia-Pacific retail business overall, the company has seen a significant increase in orders since last week. These increases have been as high as two times the normal demand. The company as a whole is quickly responding by expediting product that optimizes the existing inventory, increasing production and utilizing a managed distribution process to smartly manage through this unusual period.
“We have business and operations teams working closely together to deliver as much product as we possibly can,” Thompson said. “All of our GP facilities are working hard to maximize the number of deliveries we can load and ship.”
Last week, Georgia-Pacific mills and regional distribution centers managed to ship out approximately 120 percent of their normal capacity.
“One of the most important things our company and our mill can do is to make as much product as we safely can so that our customers can provide consumers with the product they need,” Thompson said. “We will continue to focus on doing that.”