Page 10 - Upper Peninsula Business Today -- March 2018
P. 10

Bramco Containers Thriving
By Jordan Beck for UPBT
Steve O’Driscoll, co-owner of Gladstone, Mich.-based corrugated packaging manufactur- er Bramco Containers, spoke about the roles played by his business in the local economy and the area’s forest products industry.
According to O’Driscoll, Bramco has been in business since 1990. At the time he and his brother John O’Driscoll took over the business, it was co-owned by their father Barry O’Driscoll and Gladstone resident Mike Delke.
“Both of the previous co-owners wanted out of the business ... so we bought the two of them out,” he said.
As of 2018, things have been going well for Bramco.
“We’re thriving right now,” O’Driscoll said.
Bramco’s largest customers include Upper Peninsula-based businesses such as Main Street Pizza, Engineered Machined Products, VanAire, and Andex Industries, Inc. O’Driscoll said the company prides themselves on filling smaller orders, as well.
“We have a lot of customers that only buy (100) boxes, and we still honor the roots of our company ... providing those small orders,” he said.
O’Driscoll said that, thanks to Bramco’s suc- cess, the business has begun looking into the pos- sibility of adding on to their headquarters.
“We’re actually looking to expand our space to be able to warehouse more incoming and out- going (products),” he said.
For the most part, O’Driscoll said Bramco’s products are not directly connected to the local forest products industry. Their products consist of 60 to 80 percent recycled fiber.
“It’s important that we recycle and conserve our forest products resources,” he said. To this end, Bramco recycles all of the scrap material they create in the process of making boxes.
O’Driscoll said Bramco’s boxes are not made with 100 percent recycled materials in order to ensure that they are high-quality.
“It’s good to get new fiber into the corrugated box stream,” he said. This is due to the fact that fibers can degrade over time.
The middle layers of the corrugated sheets used by Bramco incorporate locally-sourced virgin fiber. O’Driscoll said the company buys the sheets they use to make packaging from a sup- plier which sources some of their materials from the Upper Peninsula.
“We do know that a significant percentage of it comes from a paper mill that uses U.P. wood,” he said.
These sheets are typically made from tree species which are in relatively low demand.
“The trees that they use are the ones that are less desirable to the paper mills making coated paper,” O’Driscoll said. He noted that this gives area foresters a viable destination for these less popular trees.
For more information about Bramco, visit their website at
LSSU TRUSTEE EMERITIS - Lake Superior State University President Peter Mitchell joins LSSU’s Board of Trustees in issuing a formal proclamation that recognizes outgoing member Doug Bovin (left, center) for eight years of service. The presentation was made during his last board meet- ing, held Jan. 26 in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Bovin’s tenure saw the formal launch of LSSU’s Center for Freshwater Research and Education in 2016; the construction and 2017 dedication of R.W. Considine Hall; and, into 2018, a 136% spike in admissions to Lake State. Governor Rick Snyder has appointed Richard Barch, second from right, to an eight-year term to take Bovin’s place on the governing board. From left are trustees Ann Parker, Randy Pingatore, Thomas Bailey, Doug Bovin, Pres. Mitchell, Mark Mercer, Richard Barch, and Board Chair Rodney Nelson. (LSSU/John Shibley)
Corky DeRoeck
Kristal Soper
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March 2018 • Vol. 28 • Number 5
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