At the end of December, BFC made representations on the ongoing logistical difficulties at the ports which were adversely impacting on the UK furniture industry...

Logistics concerns of the furniture industry put to government

At the end of December, BFC made representations to the Department of Transport, through the All-Party Parliamentary Furniture Industry Group (APPFIG), highlighting the ongoing logistical difficulties at the ports of Felixstowe and Dover which were adversely impacting on the UK furniture industry.

The APPFIG had heard of several businesses who have been forced to shut down or reduce production due to shortages of key components. We emphasised to the DofT that this was at a time of enormous economic pressure, when it is vital that businesses with full order books are not forced to close due to disruption in supply chains.

The highlighted concerns covered:

  • difficulties in the supply of key components and raw materials - supplies from the EU were on a three-week delivery schedule, instead of the typical 2-weeks.
  • The price of a standard shipping container from China, a key source of furniture components, had risen from approximately $1,700 to $9,000. Since the end of December, prices have risen by even more.
  • Additionally, airfreight has been affected, with an 800 per cent increase in prices caused by a shortage of flights following other businesses shift from sea to air shipping.
  • Further complicating the situation is the current shortage of UK drivers after many EU drivers moved home following the COVID-19 national lockdowns.

The APPFIG has heard of several businesses who have been forced to shut down or reduce production due to shortages of key components.

We await a response and will keep you briefed with any updates.