Construction trade body raises concerns over port capacity



A leading construction industry trade body is looking into claims that building products shipped in containers from the Far East are struggling to get to the UK.

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) – whose members represent a £38 billion slice of the construction industry supply chain – is acting on concerns raised over delays.

John Newcomb, chief executive of the BMF and co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council’s Brexit Movement of Building Products and Materials Group, has raised the issue with Government

Mr Newcomb said: “There is a concern over the availability of products imported in containers, mainly from the Far East, such as ironmongery, plumbing items, tools and natural stone.

“There appears to be an increasing issue getting these products through ports, with some ships being stopped from landing and sent back to Rotterdam.

“Rather than taking a maximum of one week to unload, it is taking up to four weeks.

“We’ve raised this matter with Government and asked about the readiness of ports and customs, as we head into Brexit.

“Our members manufacture 76 per cent of building products in the UK.

“However, we need to ensure access to goods from around the world, to keep the industry running.”

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