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Nobody was really sure how 2021 would go after the uncertainty of 2020, and what the knock on effects would be. It was swings and roundabouts for many, especially the construction industry for who it hasn’t been all plain sailing. Although the industry showed many positive signs of picking up, there have been major frustrations related to supply shortages.
A government trade deal with the EU at the start of the year raised everybody’s hopes that construction materials and products would continue to be available. Shortages of materials, lorry drivers and skilled labour affected UK building. There were unfortunate events such as the container vessel which became trapped in the Suez Canal for about a week. This effectively blocked a main artery in world trade, as they tried to free the ship. Factories across the globe, were interrupted in their production due to the pandemic, and catching up was made more difficult by Brexit-related friction at UK borders.
According to the Road Haulage Association we were short of 100,000 lorry drivers, an issue which had actually been brewing for years. Poor conditions and low pay have long been bones of contention for HGV drivers. Some builders merchants were even being advised to go and get their cement, timber, bricks, insulation, roofing items, and steel from the suppliers themselves.
These problems and their effect on rising costs were firmly believed to be the fundamental cause of construction output decline. The situation is now improving, but there are still a few concerns. Smaller to medium sized companies were the most impacted by Covid, while larger, more established contractors were more or less unaffected. Whatever size project in Stansted, Rhinos Plant Hire have a range of dumpers, rollers, diggers and skidsteers for hire. Rhinos have been clients of ours for a long time, and have proved to be reliable and customer focussed, whatever your construction needs.