Luxury Wood & The Supply Chain Saga
Many of you will have read the headlines that the UK economy is experiencing multiple challenges due to the many events having an adverse effect on supply chains. The media is currently sending almost continuous hype, we are told that there will be no turkeys left, supermarket shelves will be empty, and the pump stations left dry! Meanwhile, the haulage industry has urged Boris Johnson to step up efforts to tackle a shortage of 100,000 HGV drivers, telling him to act now on supply chains or face a Christmas crisis. We are told that inflation is about to run rampant and that everything will be double the price by next year!
While there is no doubt some exaggeration in the papers and on TV, we can tell you that in terms of the wood pellets, firewood and timber sold by Luxury Wood, there is a couple of patterns we can verify:
1) There has been a general shortage of wood over 2021, which has driven prices higher by up to 20% in the types of wood we work with. A large part of this has been caused by the surge in building and construction seen over the last 12-18 months, which has meant that foresters, sawmills and kiln operators have turned their focus to construction timbers at the expense of other products. At this point we do not know if prices will continue to rise, we think that if this happens in the near term, prices are most likely to inflate in the months of January and February 2022, with a general stabilisation of prices from March 2022 onwards.
2) Excess demand for shipping and haulage due to pent up demand created during successive COVID lockdowns, an exodus of European drivers working in the UK, and a general lack of people willing to drive for a living, has made it harder for us to ship goods as freely as we would normally. Currently, however, this is not affecting product availability, but it is affecting the speed at which we deliver on our orders.
In terms of firewood, wood pellets and other wood products that we sell, the advice from now until the end of the year is simple: Do not wait until the last minute to order logs, heating pellets or landscaping timber. December, in particular, is likely to see intense pressure on all logistical systems and we expect delivery times may exceed a week or more. Those orders that are unable to be delivered just prior to Christmas will therefore be pushed over into the new year. So we urge all customers to order as soon as they can, wherever possible.
⚠️ So, we urge all customers to order as soon as they can, wherever possible.