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Advanced Engineering 2021

NEC Birmingham(B40 1NT)

03/11/2021 - 04/11/2021

Join us in our 12th and most important edition to date, as we invite engineers and management from all (more)

Overcoming the standard parts and components stock shortage

Overcoming the standard parts and components stock shortage

As Covid and Brexit hit UK imports - standard parts and components included - OEMs have been forced to respond. Component delays have impacted time to market and availability of existing OEM-designed products, requiring alternate supply channels or even re-specification and re-design. But OEMs can be reassured by component suppliers that combine UK manufacture with a robust stocking model, as WDS announces its stock guarantee programme.

Mark Moody, sales and marketing director, WDS Components, explains why OEMs can retain confidence in component supply despite ongoing challenges.

With varying levels of impact, OEMs, ranging from machine builders to consumer goods manufacturers, have suffered from parts shortages and delays over the past 18 months. Combining the effects of Covid and Brexit, imports from EU countries fell by 21.7% between quarter four 2020 and quarter one 2021, as well as a 1% fall from non-EU countries, according to the National Office of Statistics (ONS).

Supply from China has taken up a lot of the shortfall, with the ONS reporting a massive increase of over 40% across all imports throughout 2020. While this is significant for the standard parts and components market, China being the major global supplier, this increase hasn’t alleviated shortages or delays. In January 2021, the number of weekly cargo and tanker ship visits to UK ports was over 20% lower than the year before, according to the ONS.

Furthermore, the challenges facing global shipping do not appear to be going away. CNBC news recently reported that waiting times for vessels to berth at Yantian’s port, one of China’s most important, have increased from an average waiting time of half a day to 16 days. In addition to the blockage of the Suez Canal, the Financial Times reported in August that the pandemic has brought the biggest disruption since the start of container shipping 65 years ago.

In practical terms for UK OEMs, this has meant both delays and price rises. The report ‘The impacts of Covid-19 and Brexit on the UK economy: early evidence in 2021’ by The London School of Economics’ Centre for Economic Performance, says that nearly 40% of UK businesses have faced a delay in stock, and a third have reported a rise in prices or costs. Even concentrating only on imports from outside of the EU, the Financial Times says that there are currently 353 container ships stuck outside ports around the world, more than double the number from earlier in the year. Significantly for the standard parts and components market, the vast majority of these are found offshore of China and the far east.


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