Travis Perkins warns 40% of depots short of cement
The country’s biggest builders’ merchant chain is warning that around 40% of its branch network does not have enough cement to supply customers.
Travis Perkins chief operating officer Frank Elkins predicted that cement shortages were unlikely to ease before the end of the year.
Lead times on bagged cement have extended from around two days to two weeks, and Travis Perkins was now looking at supply chains across Europe to source cement.
He revealed deepening supply problems across key industry materials like plasterboard, cement and aggregate while appealing to builders to place orders four to six weeks ahead to avoid supply bottlenecks on some product lines.
He said: “At present 207 of our 550 branches don’t have enough cement to supply all our customers needs.
“There is also not enough plasterboard being made due to a shortage of paper needed to line the boards and aggregate supplies are a concern.”
Elkins added: “This is unprecedented in my 30 years in the industry. I have never known a time where we have so many product shortages at one particular time.”
Travis Perkins last week raised prices across many products lines as higher input costs passed up the supply chain.
This saw a 15% rise in the price of bagged cement, a 5% bump in the price of paint and a 10% increase in the price of chipboard.
Elkins said that Travis Perkins would be forced to pass through further price rises before the end of the year because prices from manufacturers were rising on a monthly and sometimes weekly basis.
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