The latest supply chain trends survey from the Chemical Business Association showed a sharp fall in order books.
The September survey also revealed that member companies continued to face serious supply chain issues, notably a significant shortage of UK road haulage capacity due to HGV driver shortages which is delaying or preventing vital materials from reaching customers in the manufacturing and process industries.
This included the supply of water treatment chemicals and which the Chemical Business Association highlighted to Government as a potential risk on several occasions as far back as June.
Tim Doggett, CEO of the Chemical Business Association, said: “The business situation for our member companies has worsened considerably over the last three months.
“Almost without exception, they are also having to deal with significant national and international supply chain issues – from the shortage of shipping containers and major hikes in shipping costs to the chronic shortage of HGV drivers.
“These issues are weakening the industry’s ability to recover from the impact of the pandemic and the aftermath of Brexit.
“The Chemical Business Association are one of the organisations who have led the campaign to highlight the issue of HGV driver shortage and to assist in finding solutions.
“We are encouraged that the Government has recognised the problem and has begun to take steps to resolve it, but it’s important to realise that there are no quick fixes. We will continue to work with Government and other stakeholders to find both short and medium-term remedies, as well as long-term solutions to the problem.”
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