Delays, delays, delays……………………..and more delays

By James Russell In Construction, News No comments

Back in May I wrote a blog commenting on the potential for supply chain delays. Sadly it has turned out to be absolutely right – and then some!

While McDonalds run out of milkshakes and Nandos run out of chicken, construction is running out of steel and concrete; to name but two of the many supplies our clients need. Developers and contractors I talk to every day are pulling their hair out. They have people on site ready to go but they don’t have the materials and products they need. Inevitably existing projects get delayed and put on hold, new builds simply get put back until a later date. 

So what caused this then? Well, the answer we all immediately jump to is Covid, which is of course to blame for everything including England losing to Italy in the Euros apparently!

Naturally Covid is part of the problem, but there is more to it than that. At the height of the Covid issues in this country we were seeing roughly 1 in 4 sites experiencing serious delays due to supply shortages. That number, now that we are emerging from the pandemic, now stands closer to 3 in 4 sites. A shortage of lorry drivers (apparently we are 100,000 lorry drivers down at the moment) together with disruption at manufacturers due to staff shortages either with Covid or significant Covid contact (that pesky pingdemic affected much more than just the UK you know) is adding to the delays. Then the old favourite, Brexit, plays its part too. Increased bureaucracy and a reduction in EU drivers working in the UK are both issues. Let’s not forget hundreds of thousands of containers stranded at the wrong ports across the world too!

So, all in all, a perfect storm to temporarily delay everything. How long will it last? The word is that we should be back on track before the end of the year, so developers and contractors can then push on and make up for lost time. Plus I can have a Peri Peri chicken!

Optimism is high going forward but those delays are inconvenient, annoying and costly. The sooner we can all get back to normal and get those sites moving the better. Signs are this is already starting to happen. 

As I mentioned in my previous blog on this subject, my advice is to keep your friendly insurance broker (ie us!) updated and we will work with you on it. Insurance Backed Guarantees and Latent Defects Insurance can be flexible to take these issues into account – it’s what we do.