THE timber supply chain is gearing up for business according to a new Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) survey, with almost all businesses set to reopen this month.

The third of businesses which never closed, as shown in the survey, are set to be rejoined by the rest of the respondents, with 99 per cent having either reopened or planning to this month.

Other insights from the survey include:

  • While only 12 per cent of the industry are currently operating at maximum capacity, there is confidence that businesses can quickly ramp up productivity. Other respondents were either not open (18 per cent), or are operating at minimal (33 per cent), or medium (35 per cent) capacity.
  • If quarantine measures were lifted, and in light of recent Government advice on returning to work, 54 per cent of businesses said they could return to full capacity immediately, and a further 34 per cent in less than a month.
  • ‘Government legislation’ closely followed by ‘lack of demand in the supply chain’ were seen as the two biggest potential obstacles to reopening, however this may now have shifted given the release of Government advice.
  • Access to PPE was viewed as a risk particularly by members involved in manufacturing, with marked increases when filtering the results to Structural Timber Association and British Woodworking Federation members.
  • Manufacturing was the most affected sector in the timber supply chain, with these respondents far more likely to have closed for a period than sawmillers, merchants or other traders.

CTI chair, Roy Wakeman OBE, said: “The results from this survey demonstrate the resilience of timber, and that as construction comes back online, that businesses can have confidence in the merchants, manufacturers and traders they rely on to stand by them.

“Over the past six weeks the UK has faced some unprecedented challenges. Now as we seek to rebuild a better future beyond this crisis, we know timber will continue to grow as the material of choice for the construction industry.”

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