Why Are Construction Materials in Short Supply?

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Autus RhinosSome within the construction industry think that the current building material shortage, along with inflation will change the construction industry. The changes are expected by many to be permanent, and could affect the way construction companies run their businesses. As the industry has tried to get back on its feet after the ravages of the pandemic lockdowns, essential materials have been in short supply. This frustrating situation has blocked progress, and a lot of projects were put on hold.

Shortage of materials is just one issue, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), prices are going up. In August 2021, the average cost of materials across the construction sector was 23.5% more than in August 2020. This is likely to be just the start of price escalations too. The cost of many materials used within the building sector such as silicone, timber and steel has sky rocketed, some by up to 60%.

There are lots of reasons for price rises including the pandemic, Brexit, HGV driver shortages and panic buying by consumers and businesses. There are also factors such as China’s efforts to reduce their steel production. This is however seen as a positive step and in line with carbon reduction targets. There is the humongous $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed by the US Senate in 2021. The outstanding amount of work proposed throughout the US will require vast amounts of labour and raw materials. This could pose a problem for other countries like the UK, as materials are in short supply internationally. This bill is attracting attention from manufacturers and producers, as an extremely lucrative market to be part of.

One upside of all this is that off-site manufacturing will grow more popular, as it’s faster and cheaper. In addition, construction companies will naturally have to become more efficient and less wasteful. Many already hire their heavy and small plant from specialists such as our clients Rhinos Plant Hire. This cuts out the need for purchasing, maintaining, storing and insuring their dumpers, diggers, skidsteers, rollers etc.

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