May 30, 2017
Manufacturing Insights

From Templeton to Gardner to Orange, Seaman makes paper in C. Mass

Seaman Paper Company was recognized as a leader in sustainability at the American Forest & Paper Association's 2015 annual meeting in Texas.

Seaman Paper Company of Massachusetts, Inc.'s paper products can be found everywhere from restaurants to gift wrap stores. The Gardner company, which has 350 employees, makes its products at three different locations in Central Massachusetts, and others around the world.

President Ryan Lichwell spoke about investing in European markets, expanding food service offerings, and the challenges of operating in a state with high health care costs and low unemployment.

What do you make?

We produce lightweight decorative tissue papers, crepe streamers and food service papers. We have two decorative product lines: retail packaging and consumer products. The retail packaging line is tissue used at the retail level in stores to wrap a purchase, sold to retailers. The consumer products line is tissue sold to consumers for use with a gift bag, primarily for gift giving. We also offer lightweight food service papers, crepe streamers and tissue decorations.

Who do you sell to, and where are your clients located?

We sell our consumer product line to big box and specialty retailers throughout the U.S. and internationally. We sell our retail packaging line to luxury retailers and distributors throughout the world.

Where do you manufacture? Do you have more than one location, or do you contract out certain services?

We manufacture jumbo rolls of paper in our Mill in Templeton. From there, the rolls can be printed at Garlock Printing in Gardner. Rolls from the Mill and printed rolls from Garlock are then converted into finished sheeted product in our facilities either in Gardner or Orange. We have international manufacturing as well to give global retailers a consistent product that can be locally sourced throughout the world.

How many different kinds of paper do you sell?

We produce over 70 stock colors for our SatinWrap retail packaging program, plus various stock prints in our standard offering. Consumer products are customer specific, so each customer has their own mix of holiday prints and colors, with customized packaging and specified fold sizes. We also offer food grade papers in natural, white, stock printed designs, or custom printed.

What are the advantages of being headquartered in the U.S.?

We are fortunate enough to have great employees who are the experts in their fields.

The majority of our customers are based in the U.S., so we are able to have lower lead times and are not subject to transportation risks such as the Hanjin bankruptcy in 2016.

What are some of the other challenges you face as a manufacturing company?

Being in the paper industry, we face a lot of challenges. You often read about mills closing as market demands shift. As we innovate to keep up with changing trends, we also face the same challenges as other manufacturers, such as international competition, a strong U.S. Dollar which favors imports, rising healthcare costs, and low unemployment.

What are your plans for the next year? Will you expand more globally?

We are looking to continue to expand globally. We have manufacturing in Europe and are continuing to invest to grow our market share there. Domestically, we are expanding our food service offerings, leveraging the production from our paper mill, printing, and converting facilitates.

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