A report released today shows that the timber supply chain are fully prepared to support construction with companies stocked at either normal or above normal levels for this time of year (88%).
Based on a survey of TTF members from around the UK, there were responses from 54 member companies, reflecting a diverse supply chain of merchants, traders, and agents.
Some of the key statistics included in the report include:
- 97% of respondents said they could implement safe Site Operating Procedures either partially or fully.
- Growth in demand was rated as the number one factor for reopening the industry, followed closely be specific advice from Government.
- Key risks in the supply chain include ‘unfair’ payments, difficulty of transporting timber to sites, and being unable to source from suppliers.
- As compared to last year there was a mean 33% fall in sales in March, and 66% fall in sales in April.
- Most members believed that were restrictions lifted they could return to normal operation in a month, if not before six months.
- 85% of respondents are accessing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, 56% have contacted HMRC about deferring tax, and 45% have contacted their bank about accessing the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans
- Product categories where members have most identified shortages were in garden supplies and plywood.
David Hopkins, CEO of the Timber Trade Federation, says:
“While there is rightly a health first focus, it is important that the economy, and the construction industry, finds ways to safely reopen. Fortunately, there has been a collective effort across the industry to pave a way out of the crisis and find new ways of operating.
“Key going forward is the Site Operating Procedures as provided by the Construction Leadership Council and Public Health England, which are being adopted cross industry, with measures such as social distancing widely accepted.
“Timber traders are resilient. Many of the companies in our membership are over a hundred years old, having survived both world wars and numerous recessions. While this crisis poses many new challenges, we are confident in the ability of the timber supply chain to emerge strong.
“As the UK emerges from this crisis, we will be calling on the Government to inject stimulus into sustainable construction, with timber a key part of an emergent green economy. By working together and maintaining clear lines of communication, we are confident of the ability of the timber supply chain to weather the crisis.”
Download the full report, Looking beyond the Coronavirus.