A manufacturing issue associated with the use of co-laminated timber (CLT) in building products is preventing national members of the Costco building division from moving full-ship past a bottleneck of products in the company’s warehouses, according to an update on the company’s website. The company also announced that it would place a purchase limit on toilet paper and paper towels to address demand for products that have been affected by the issue.
CLT, a lightweight, flexible composite material, is typically used as a building component instead of steel, which is heavier and more expensive. Building construction is a large portion of the business of warehouse giant Costco, which has more than 550 stores nationwide and serves 120 million customers.
Although Costco was not identified by the Department of Defense as part of a $6.6 billion contract for the construction of Marine Corps bases, its cut-and-cover building is expected to be a massive part of the work, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.
“Costco has temporarily placed a limit on the supply of tissues and paper towels being supplied to their warehouses due to a manufacturing issue associated with use of CLT,” the new Costco statement said. “The limit is in place for an indefinite amount of time, and we are working closely with suppliers to maintain a full supply of products.”
The cost of CLT construction is steep, as it requires special technology and requires the joint use of materials, which have contributed to problems for the manufacturing company involved in the Costco mess. While some building materials produced by North Face were affected by the manufacturing issues, “Costco has not yet received affected North Face products,” according to the statement.
“As part of our regular program, we place product limits at the warehouse level every six months to ensure we have the right supply to meet our customers’ needs,” the statement said. “To address customer demand, we are again placing this limit for our customers who are ordering products with cladding.”
The company said it is working to find a solution to the problem, and work with suppliers to increase supply. “We expect this will be resolved soon and appreciate our customers’ patience,” the statement concluded.