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Will Supply Chain Complications Slow Commercial Construction?

Will Supply Chain Complications Slow Commercial Construction?

Industries like construction rely on a complex web of supply chains with inputs required from many different industries. This dependence on multiple raw inputs and the complicated large-scale transport of goods means the entire industry is susceptible to an issue with any link in that log chain. 

Shortages in one place lead to scarcity in another, whether materials or manpower. 


Will Supply Chain Complications Slow Commercial Construction?

Several areas in the supply chain have experienced complications due to Covid-19, which have impacted construction projects nationally. While temporary, these issues are significant and widespread. 

Each step from manufacturing raw goods, their transport internationally or domestically, to the base demand of goods and services have seen delays. 

1. Transport Issues

Raw materials going to initial processing, refined timber or metal, and finished construction supplies all need to move around the globe or country to reach their final project site. The transport of goods throughout the supply chain has been under enormous stress due to the pandemic over the last two years. 

Harbors around the world are continuing to experience staffing shortages. This shortage of workers leaves them with limited capacity, increasing international processing times to get things into and out of harbors globally. Shipping containers can sit for weeks, waiting for their spot to offload or unload. 

And it isn’t just international supply chains that have been affected. Shortages of qualified truck drivers slow the movement of materials domestically. Even a slight issue in transport can cause severe delays down the line in manufacturing or construction.

2. Manufacturing Delays

If a manufacturer can’t get or depend on timely delivery of raw materials, you get manufacturing delays. Throughout the pandemic, international and domestic shipping issues have slowed or halted the production of final construction materials.

Irregular deliveries coupled with frequent closings due to outbreaks have significantly reduced the output of many manufacturers. Facilities not only close for sterilization and cleaning but contact tracing. 

With reduced workforces, missing raw materials, and needed breaks, manufacturers that would typically operate 24/7 are reducing shifts. 

All of these slowdowns in the manufacturing process prohibit the number of construction supplies available on the market. A decrease in manufacturing leads to increased final prices and slower delivery. 

3. Increasing Residential Demand

While commercial and residential construction projects often require different types and grades of supplies and equipment, many of the essential building blocks of a project are manufactured within the same facilities. During the height of the pandemic, while dealing with their raw material sourcing and transport issues, manufacturers and retailers saw an increased volume of residential clients.

Whether they were individual home owners tackling projects themselves, remodels spurred about by having to stay at home, or a boom of interest in new residential construction due to the spike in the housing market, residential construction materials were in high demand and short supply. 

With some significant commercial construction projects halting, manufacturers swapped production to the most needed. 

This switch upset the existing balance between commercial and residential supplies. While residential demand remains high, this will likely rebalance to pre-pandemic levels. As manufacturers sort their own supply chain and workforce issues, construction supplies will level out as their bandwidth for production increases. 

Construction Never Stops

The domino from each part of the supply chain has had a knock-on effect that has most certainly increased both cost and time to acquire materials in commercial construction. Construction projects are now going over budget and beyond scheduled completion dates. 

Balance Will Come

Supply chain issues and manufacturing shortages will rebalance. While still fluctuating, the price of lumber has not reached the same dramatic peak that it did in May of 2021. And in many material markets, new substitutes are stepping in to be readily available. 

While the current issues with the supply chain are not likely to work themselves out within the next few months, construction does continue, and the demand for it will only continue to increase as the economy begins to recover from the pandemics recession.

Crane and Equipment Transport You Can Rely On

The unusual industry-wide complications with the supply chain have caused a dramatic slowdown, but the past has shown markets and industries tend to bounce back quickly. Commercial construction projects put on hold have restarted, while new ones get underway all across the Carolinas.

If you are undertaking an industrial, commercial, residential, power, or telecommunication project and need crane or equipment transport services, look no further than Parker’s Crane Service. With over 40 years in the industry, we work to exceed expectations. We work with customers throughout the Carolinas and East Coast.

Contact us to see how we can help with your current or future construction project. With crane rental, custom rigging, or heavy hauling services, we can help get your new project completed smoothly.