2020 has been a challenging year for us all. I very much doubt that there has been a single person in the country who has not had a tough year in one way or another.
We are all looking forward to the Festive season, however we are also all aware that the black clouds of our exit from the EU are gathering and that this will really happen in the New Year - not just on paper and online as it has been until now, but it will really happen. We are not just leaving: Shortly we will have left and this will affect many aspects of our lives including the way that goods are imported into the UK.
The effects of the global Covid lockdown have been felt in the construction materials industry since the first lockdowns in Europe: Few people realise that many construction materials are made in Europe and imported into the UK, and that a sizeable proportion of what is not made in Europe is made in China. What this meant in practice is that once lockdowns started happening, products stopped being manufactured, shipped and imported into the UK for quite some time. Of course the UK manufacturers were also closed as well during our lockdown.
Many roofing and building supplies merchants had stocks before lockdown, and then quickly snapped up what was available from the manufacturers and importers when they re-opened after the Chinese, European & UK lockdowns.
However, since then the manufacturers have struggled to meet demand: Because of social distancing requirements, many manufacturers are unable to operate at full capacity as their production facilities and factories are not designed for social distancing.
Meanwhile, the importers are dealing with long waits as manufacturers abroad resume production, and products are then shipped over.
Meanwhile the effects of Brexit are starting to be be felt. One importer recently emailed us the following:
'.....we are experiencing delays with deliveries in to us, which are out of our control sadly. We have been ordering well in advance, but there seems to be shortages of containers for loading in Europe, along with delays at ports due to volumes of imports from Europe having increased over the last few weeks resulting in no space available on ships for containers, which I think is due to importers ordering in extra stock before 31st December, which we are also doing, to avoid stock issues in Jan/Feb once Brexit is finally triggered. We have large volumes coming to us, probably 2-3 times usual requirements for the time of the year.'
The result of all of the above is that there are currently shortages of many roofing materials, timber and ancillary products - which surprises many customers, as they are used to hearing the doom and gloom in the media on a daily basis. However, we can assure everyone reading this that the construction industry is extremely busy! Houses are being build, renovated and re-roofed! Demand for building and construction materials has not dipped this year and remains extremely high.
At About Roofing Supplies we are working extremely hard to keep as much stock as we physically can so that we can maintain supplies to our customers. We have siognificantly increased the stocks that we hold at our branches, as well as placing large forward orders with suppliers for as much as 6 months ahead.
Many in the roofing industry are aware that roof tile supplies are quite challenging at the moment with many of the most popular tiles on long lead times as demand is outstripping supplies, however stocks are being manufactured and delivered, and we would strongly advise our customers to forward order their requirements in plenty of time, rather than hoping that the right quantities of the right tiles in the right colours will be available when required.
As always, we encourage you all to speak to us: If stocks of a certain product are difficult to locate we may be able to offer an alternative now, or perhaps what you are looking for more quickly than your usual supplier.
Where can I find building materials and roofing supplies near me?
You can view and order building supplies and roofing materials, as well as our wide range of clay roof tiles and concrete roof tiles in any of our branches listed below or we can deliver nationwide: