July 1, 2021

In line with the rest of the construction industry, George Barnsdale is not immune to the current supply challenges facing the sector. Timber, glass and coatings are all affected due to a perfect storm of increased global demand, covid-19 backlogs and, in the UK, Brexit led problems with obtaining haulage.

So what’s driving the shortages?

Global demand for timber is at an all time high. Demand in Europe and America where timber framed building has been ramped up under the Biden administration is at extraordinary levels. Much of the Scandinavian timber has been snapped up by the American house-builders which is exacerbated by the backlog created by lockdown last year and the closure of timber processing operations.

Lockdown also seems to account for the huge increase in demand from the DIY sector from furlough garden projects to home office construction, people have been spending a lot of money on their homes.

What does this mean for our products?

Tom Wright, Managing Director said “George Barnsdale foresaw the materials shortages and has put significant effort into increasing stock levels which is helping to keep our factory going. We also work very closely with our suppliers who we have been working closely with for many years to ensure we are best placed to secure stock. It’s at times like this when you benefit from having close long term partnerships with your suppliers.”

” Despite this, prices have been rising considerably and we are absorbing as much of this as we can without passing it on to our customers. However, there is no guarantee that our own prices won’t have to increase in order for us to remain a viable business since there is a limit to how much we can absorb. We will keep our customers informed of any potential price increases and also where there is a risk of lead times increasing.”

George Barnsdale is better placed than many companies with its secure supply chain and ability to invest in additional stock and is working very hard to mitigate for the global materials shortages. Our technical knowledge of timber allows us to specify alternatives if necessary that will perform equally well and we are continuing to work on our British grown timber research project.