Bordic enters polymer supply sector

BORDIC, an established supplier of a wide range of plastic films and paper stock as well as plastic and paper labelling materials, has diversified its business model and entered the polymer supply sector.

This was a logical step for the supplier as it was already servicing many film convertors across the southern Africa region and specifically as it had the necessary warehouse space too. Bordic’s main warehouse is a 7000m² facility in Clairwood, Durban. It previously used a warehouse at Maydon Wharf, closer to the Durban harbour, but the addition of new slitters (it can slit shrink film from master rolls up to 1,6m wide) and overall growth of the business necessitated the move to larger premises, which was completed during 2021.

Another factor leading up to the expansion into the polymer supply business was the arrival of Les Whittal at Bordic last year. Whittal, who has extensive experience in the polymer supply sector, now heads up the polymers business unit. The sale of raw materials – as opposed to rollstock film or paper – is a new venture for the Bordic team but is part of the company’s organic growth process. The bulk of its customers in the film extrusion sector are already extruding film themselves, so the next logical step for Bordic was to supply material to them too as well as broaden the range of products to other market sectors.

Whittal has close to 30 years’ experience in the polymer supply sector and his knowhow is vital in the rollout process for Bordic. Among the many pitfalls common in this sector are currency swings, unpredictable shipping costs and supply delays, not to mention the challenges of getting material through the ports (where documentation problems can clog up supply lines) and delivered to customers. These challenges have created difficulties for just about all of SA’s polymer suppliers and became acute during the Covid period.

The Bordic team, however, already possesses the skills and capacity to manage the freight issues, and Whittal now brings his experience to manage the potential complications of the many differing material grades needed by convertors.

“Polymers are traditionally high-volume, quick turnaround commodities used by many of Bordic’s customers in the flexible packaging area, our plan of course is to expand the current product range as well as diversify into other added value markets” said Les.

“We strongly believe in the untapped opportunity to add value to small to medium-sized convertors by warehousing the 200 or 300 tons of dedicated stock they can’t afford to store on-site where service and quick turnaround times are key.”