The Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) has highlighted the issues facing its members due to delays in the supply of products and components caused by Covid-19, Brexit and the recent blockage of the Suez Canal.
Before the introduction of new, stricter import controls in April, which were subsequently extended by government, the FEA surveyed its members and discovered all respondents were experiencing delays and price increases.
One respondent said: "We are seeing significant delays and price increases across all commodities. The increases are ranging from 8% to 35%, with almost all commodities seeing double-digit increases. The average delays we are seeing on imported commodities is around six weeks, with some products hitting 12 weeks."
Sourcing products from the continent is a particular issue. "Lead-in times are now being quoted at 10-12 weeks, which is nearly double what it was pre-Covid/Brexit," added one respondent.
Many companies report adding extra stock to cover for possible delays caused by issues with paperwork. Other members highlighted shortages for raw materials including laminates, stainless and mild steel and castings.
Lead-in times have also increased due to a reduced number of contractors, with companies who reduced their workforce during the pandemic now struggling to respond to the demand for new orders as lockdown eases.
"The last year has been particularly challenging for many of our members," explained Steve Hobbs, chair of FEA. "They have been having to make many tough decisions to survive, but the increasing effects of the post-Brexit costs and paperwork is having a huge impact throughout the supply chain.
"It's vital that the government acts to support the work these companies do and ensure that the movement of goods is as seamless as possible to avoid damaging economic recovery."