Causing concern for builders with a material shortage in the run up to Brexit
This year has been a troublesome one in regard to the global maritime supply chains, with logistics firms going from a period of having no work to a situation where no ships are available. With such widespread disruption, returned to the ‘norm’ with goods flow looks like a timely process.
While high street shops have been experiencing shortages of consumer items such as washing machines and toys, builders in the UK are now running out of the materials they need as a surge in freight volumes has caused the country’s ports to go into a bottleneck.
John Newcomb, the chief executive of the Builder’s Merchants Federation, has said that unloading cargo is currently taking up to four weeks instead of the usual maximum of one week.
For builders, timber is of particular concern due to supply problems in Scandinavia, which have caused a price hike of between 20% and 40%. However, stocks of such essentials as roof tiles, screws, fixings, tools and white goods are also rapidly diminishing.
There are many vessels that are now skipping the UK entirely, due to the congestion at the ports. There is terrible worry that the UK’s largest container port, Felixstowe will remain backlogged until as long as February. Some international carriers have considering avoiding British ports until after this time.
Many UK businesses have been hurt with the enormous increases in shipping costs, this is starting to cause mass concerns ahead of Brexit. With the port delays already happening, the shortage of popular consumer products is already among us. Soaring import costs from international trade and the current covid-19 situation is adding extra pressure on prices moving into 2021