Wolverhampton, UK – Import and export issues remain the biggest challenge for the UK gasket and sealing suppliers, more than 18 months after the country's official departure from the European Union.
Issues with availability and pricing of shipping containers, long delays at borders and increased trade barriers, as well as Covid-19 have compounded the Brexit effects, a recent members' survey by the UK Gasket & Sealing Association (UKGSA) has found.
“Issues around importing remains one of the biggest concerns (77%), with 38% of members quoting Brexit as a continuing challenge for them,” said the association on the survey results.
In particular, the association said its members felt pressure to raise prices given the import/export issues, and especially due to the rising raw materials costs.
On the impact of Covid, the association said 62% of respondents expressed ‘some concerns’ with the lifting of restrictions whilst 23% had ‘no concerns’.
Almost all members continued to work during lockdown and all have put stringent measures in place to keep workplaces safe, it added.
When asked what negative impacts the pandemic had had on their business, “stock and supply issues” had by far the biggest impact on members, who relied on imported materials.
With some customers closed during the lockdown and partially operating during restrictions, sales were impacted greatly.
On a positive note, many members are now operating at full capacity, reflecting increased confidence in the market.