The Bathroom Manufacturers Association has told Kbb Retailers to expect significant price increases across imported Kbb products as supply chain disruption continues and suppliers have also been hit with soaring freight costs amid a global shipping crisis brought about from Covid, that may last for several more months.
It is fair to say that most consumers around the world are acutely aware of the lack of supply to goods but in the UK and Europe the problems have been worsened due to the fallout from Brexit.
CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA), Tom Reynolds spoke of a developing shipping container crisis back in December 2020 when it revealed global shutdowns, followed by a sudden spike in demand, were causing major congestion at ports and inevitable disruption to the supply chain which he anticipated would last until the Spring.
Kbb retailers had already been struggling with delayed orders since March 2020, brought about by the global Covid-19 pandemic so news that the continuation of the pressures and their upward effect on pricing is expected to offer little comfort to an already besieged Kbb sector.
It has been suggested that a quadrupling in shipping prices, unprecedented international demand for stock, made worse with empty shipping containers in the wrong place has led to the significant delays to UK imports that will be felt throughout 2021.
2020 Supply Hangovers
From the UK toilet roll shortages (albeit largely down to hoarding) in March 2020, the bicycle and bicycle parts shortages of the Spring onwards, through to the UK car industry not getting the parts, we are all too aware of the shortages but it has been the Kbb sector where many would have felt them most.
As Kbb stocks in the UK were being quickly depleted with a surge in Kbb home improvement projects from the late Spring of 2020, there simply hasn’t been the required level of re-supply since that initial drain.
From German kitchens, German home appliances and other home appliances, sinks, taps, etc not getting to the UK, to TV components stuck in China, home and consumer goods have faced almost a full year of supply issues now, with no sign of relief.
Last month Bathroom Manufacturers Association CEO Tom Reynolds told Kbbreviewsaid: “Poor availability of containers and fierce competition between European and the more lucrative pacific trade routes has multiplied the cost of shipping, in some cases ten-fold. While manufacturers will attempt to minimise the impacts on retailers and customers as far as possible, it is an extraordinary additional cost that will be impossible to bear beyond the very short term. The obvious challenge to retailers is passing on and explaining these increases to consumers, many of whom are already uneducated when it comes to the cost of KBB products and who are also likely to be under pressure financially due to the pandemic.”