Where’s all the wood? Shortage of materials in recent months
The sister title of the AJ Construction News reports that lumber, tiles and bagged cement top the list of materials in short supply. John Newcomb, general manager of the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) and Peter Caplehorn, general manager of the Construction Products Association (CPA), Peter Caplehorn, who is leading the work on product availability of the CLC. group.
“Demand in the UK and around the world continues to significantly outstrip supply and shows little sign of slowing down during the very busy seasonal summer months,” the group’s most recent statement said.
“Inevitably, all of this fuels price inflation, and high demand, coupled with tight supply, is expected to keep prices high throughout the year.”
The supply of insulation boards is also tight, with contractors now looking for alternatives to PIR insulation, according to the CLC. Gypsum board suppliers are also struggling to keep up with material deliveries, with extended delivery times.
The availability of carriers, already insufficient at the start of the year, is now a “critical issue nationwide,” the CLC said. The industry has 15,000 fewer drivers due to Brexit, while 30,000 heavy truck driving tests have also been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Delays in deliveries of bricks and blocks were reported in some areas.
Electrical goods are even more scarce, due to a delay in delivery to the Pearl River Delta in China, as hundreds of ships wait to dock. The blockade is worse than the blockade of the Suez Canal in March, according to the Association of Electrical Contractors.
Last week, Mineral Products Association chief executive Nigel Jackson said Construction News that cement shortages are expected to be resolved this summer as the majority of the material is produced in the UK. Timber and steel, however, depend on imports, making them vulnerable to trade difficulties and transportation problems.