An ongoing container shortage for carriers transporting goods from the Far East is threatening to cause price hikes and delays for UK retailers who depend on supply chains from China, Made in Britain has warned. The equipment challenges became acute at the end of last year following a strong increase in demand as lockdown restrictions in many countries were eased. The result has been long delays to goods arriving from Asia, exacerbated by global port congestion, along with price increases looking likely as suppliers look to pass on the burden of the extra cost.
"If you import finished goods from the Far East, as many companies in Britain do, these shipping delays can have a serious impact on your business. The 'lowest cost option' is looking increasingly costly, and this is a problem which we have seen escalating since the COVID crisis first reared its head in early 2020,” said John Pearce, pictured, CEO of Made in Britain.
“By ensuring you have UK based companies in the supply chain, you create reassurance and confidence among customers that prices are much less likely to suddenly rocket upwards, and goods will arrive on time. We advise looking out for the 'Made in Britain' logo on products and the websites of our 1500 members, meaning you can trust they have been fabricated in the UK to a high standard, sustainably and ethically. Retailers can also seek out British suppliers in our new British trade and consumer product directory on the Made in Britain website."
David Osborne, CEO of Newton Aycliffe-based manufacturer Roman, believes there have never been more compelling reasons to buy British. “There are the obvious benefits of flexibility and service; bespoke design and capability; sustainability and environmental impact; but now, in light of the current Chinese shipping problems, certainty of supply and certainty of price have never been more important,” he said. “Many retailers and housebuilders have not asked or cared what the origin of the product was over recent years – now they are acutely aware as too many supply chains have become over reliant on China.”