The supply chain crisis is “getting worse”, with less availability and higher prices, according to a Printing United Alliance survey of printers including those working with apparel.

It revealed that 55.7% of North American textile and garment printers reported availability of printable product had deteriorated over the past 60 days although 51.3% said it was unchanged.

Printing United Alliance, the trade association for US and Canadian print professionals, also found that 74.4% of textile and apparel decorators had seen prices rise over the past 60 days, with the rest saying they were unchanged.

However, the worst-hit sectors were those using coated paper and uncoated paper where less availability of substrate was reported by 84.8% and 79.2% respectively and higher prices by 96.7% and 95.4%.

Overall, 69.3% of printers reported that supply chain conditions were “deteriorating”, while only 12.4% reported they were improving.

The “randomness” and “unpredictability” of supply chains — not knowing from week to week what will be available, when and at what price — topped the long list of challenges.

The responses to supply-chain issues by respondents included building inventory, keeping customers informed so they could plan more in advance, and adjusting prices frequently and increasing mark-ups.

Andrew D Paparozzi, chief economist at Printing United Alliance, concluded: “Our survey confirms that the crisis is getting worse.”

The Printing United Alliance publishes updates at The latest figures were originally published in US magazine Printing Impressions.