26 February 2009
U.S. newsstand mess causes chaos for Quebecor World
MISSISSAUGA, ON—Turmoil in the U.S. magazine newsstand distribution business has caused a heap of operational problems for Quebecor World, according to a letter sent by the printer to its clients last week. Earlier this month, Anderson News and Source Interlink, two of the four major magazine wholesalers in the U.S., announced price hikes, setting off a chain of events that eventually led to lawsuits and the closure of Anderson News. Quebecor World, it seems, was caught in the crossfire.

Publishers, unwilling to pay the increased fees, began making other arrangements to ship their magazines. The wholesalers took them to court and a judge in New York ruled that publishers could not deny shipments to Source Interlink.

As a result, copies had to re-consigned once again, forcing Quebec World to deal with a flood of shipping requests and changes. “Clear direction from some publishers and national distributors became further blurred when instructions to hold in the morning were then reversed in the afternoon,” the printer stated in a letter originally quoted by Folio magazine. “This caused QW plants and QWL CF locations to start and stop destination re-flagging of pallets, load planning, truck rerouting and stopping of equipment in route on the same day.” A lack of communication between publishers and national distributors, leading to conflicting instructions, added to the printer’s woes.

Qubecor World, hoping to control things, is now asking for a week’s notice prior to the date of any required change. “It has become clear that day-to-day release changes cannot be accommodated without sacrificing control of the distribution process.”
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