The UK’s supply chain challenges are being brought back to the public’s attention in the run up to Christmas, but they have been impacting the construction industry all year.
The combination of problems from the Covid-19 pandemic and market changes due to Brexit have caused delays, shortages and price increases across supply chains.
The challenges are many and closely linked: labour shortages mean fewer HGV drivers are available to transport goods, while changes to border controls due to Brexit are delaying imports and logistics. Additionally, around the world raw materials are either in short supply or increasing in price, due to the knock-on effect of slowed production during global lockdowns.
As such, there have been unprecedented shortages of materials and labour on UK construction sites throughout 2021. In Q2 of this year, more than half of constructors reported challenges with sourcing materials, compared to just 14% experiencing delays on orders in the last quarter of 2019, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found.
This is one of the factors pushing up prices, which are rising faster than ever before reports the Purchasing Managers Index. And more recently, energy and fuel price hikes have pushed up prices further, with inflation now at a 10-year high.
In spite of this, the construction industry is continuing a healthy, steady recovery, with output high. Investment in infrastructure projects is supporting this in particular, with output up by 47% in Q3 this year. These encouraging figures suggest the worst of the supply chain challenges may be over.
Constructors and clients alike have learned to navigate these challenges together in recent months. Engaging suppliers and contractors early on is the best way to navigate and mitigate supply chain challenges. Developing trusted relationships to balance project requirements with wider market trends is key.
We can advise on the latest updates for materials, give accurate forecasts on lead times for items, or offer alternative solutions for projects.
We are experts in geotechnical products and applications to make ground good. Contact us today for a value engineered solution guaranteed to save time, money and hassle.