Why are UK buyers facing a shortage of home and garden items? Business News

Shoppers face shortages of goods this summer as the economy opens rapidly and households start spending the money they saved during the pandemic while businesses face many challenges importing goods.

High-demand items such as patio furniture, picnic baskets and camping gear are among those that experts say will be scarce.

But why exactly are retailers having such difficulties and what could this mean for ordinary households?

The first and most obvious set of problems stems from the pandemic.

Many manufactured products produced in China and elsewhere in Asia are experiencing shipping delays. Global demand for goods fell at an unprecedented rate last year as much of the world went into lockdown.

This year it has grown almost as sharply, and manufacturers have struggled to ramp up supply fast enough, causing bottlenecks in international supply chains.

Computer chips and building materials were among the first to see rapid price increases, with shortages set to continue into the next year. Some big buyers have started stocking vital parts in anticipation of future shortages, which has made the problems even worse.

These shortages in turn began to trickle down to consumer goods, building material dealers and DIY stores raising lumber prices and electronics companies unable to meet huge demand. Sony’s PS5 has been in and out of stock all year, with buyers buying every batch of the popular game console within minutes.

Many were quickly sold at large margins on eBay, Gumtree and elsewhere. In online forums and messaging apps like Discord, traders make small fortunes buying and selling graphics cards, consoles, and other in demand and rare items.

Sea routes have been slowed by Covid security measures at ports and a backlog caused by the blockade of the Suez Canal earlier in the year. Competition for space in shipping containers that carry much of the world’s goods is fierce and prices have skyrocketed.

Ever Given, which got stuck in the Suez Canal, contributed to the delays


Added to this combination of challenges is Brexit, which has left companies with a significant additional workload this year. The problems are expected to worsen as full customs controls are phased in over the coming months.

Darran Major, a plant buyer for a large independent garden center in Hertfordshire, said growers, transporters and all other players in the supply chain have worked tirelessly to ensure a smooth transition.

“Before Brexit, plant imports from the EU were very straightforward because we all seemed to ‘sing from the same score’,” he said.

(Until the day)

Now, businesses face a lot more paperwork for each shipment.

“Plant passports and phytosanitary certificates must be issued for each plant. This obviously had huge implications on costs and order fulfillment times. “

“The only problem is really the extra paperwork. This is now inevitable and while it may help ensure that only healthy and sustainable plants enter the UK, it is an additional cost implication, which will ultimately be passed on to the end user. “

(The Independent / Istock)

A poll by Haulage Exchange, a company that provides technology for the logistics industry, found that 94% of UK carriers have been negatively affected by Brexit. More than two-thirds of UK transport companies have lost business while 31% said they could stop working with food and drink customers due to rule changes since the UK left the EU.

A separate survey by the KlearNow customs clearance platform indicated that around 60% of UK suppliers experienced import delays in the past month.

“With the competition for container space so high, some small businesses are simply being denied the price of offloading the goods and materials they need,” said Sam Tyagi, CEO of KlearNow.

“We have processed over 100,000 UK customs documents since January and speak to many UK businesses every day. The one word we keep hearing is chaos. UK businesses are already facing a growing array of chain challenges supply and it will only get worse.

For buyers, this means that higher prices for many items are likely to occur for a while. Consumers are increasingly turning to rental websites and second-hand platforms.

Online retailer Shpock saw a 157% increase in home and garden sales in the second quarter of the year.

Iyesha Cheema-Bradshaw, brand manager at Shpock, said the lack of home and garden essentials meant now is the perfect time to look to second-hand rigs.

“We have noticed a big increase in garden sales as buyers turn to platforms with a plentiful supply of quality items,” she said.

While many of the current problems are transient and are expected to subside as the virus is brought under control, more are being built …

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This notice was published: 2021-06-07 16:44:30

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