The acute delivery and supply bottlenecks are delaying the upswing in the metal and electrical industry after the corona crisis. According to a survey by employers’ associations, 80 percent of the companies surveyed report a “moderate” or even “severe” impairment of business. “The bottlenecks are noticeably slowing down the economic recovery,” said Südwestmetall managing director Peer-Michael Dick in Stuttgart: “The hope of a return to the pre-crisis level in the course of the coming year is shifting backwards for more and more companies.”
In January, just under two thirds of the companies stated that they would be able to achieve at least the level of the end of 2018 – i.e. before the 2019 recession and the following corona crisis – by the end of 2022. Only just under half of the companies are now expecting this, so the outlook has clearly deteriorated. The delivery bottlenecks play an important role. Only around one in 40 companies is not affected at all. This year alone, the problems brought companies an average of ten percent less sales.
Problems for a good five months
According to the companies, there is a lack of raw materials and materials as well as preliminary products, especially semiconductors, electronic components, steel products and metals, but also plastics or wires and pipes. On average, the companies have been suffering from delivery bottlenecks for a good five months, but individual companies have been feeling them for more than a year. In perspective, the companies expect the bottlenecks to continue for around nine months. Some companies even expect bottlenecks for up to a further 24 months. “So we can only count on relaxation in the second half of 2022 at the earliest,” said Dick.
Businesses particularly frequently complain about price increases in purchasing (85.8%) and late deliveries (83.6%), but also about insufficient delivery quantities (57.5%) or complete delivery failures (46.6%). The main reason for this is the lack of production by suppliers, but transport to Europe is also causing major problems. The companies affected react most frequently to the problems with the search for alternative suppliers and products, the partial passing on of price increases and restrictions in production. Maintaining the improved regulations on short-time working also plays an important and even greater role in one in four companies than the reduction of jobs or canceled shifts.
The companies are addressing a whole series of demands to politicians, with which the effects of the bottlenecks could be alleviated in the short term. These include the optimization of customs clearance, the temporary lifting of truck driving bans on Sundays and public holidays and the ban on night flights for transport flights or improved regulations on short-time work. “We have often heard the request that the production of certain goods and components in Europe should be strengthened in order to reduce the dependencies on such globally occurring problems in the future,” said the Südwestmetall managing director: “Politics and collective bargaining can also play an important role in this Contribute by creating the right, competitive framework. ” (ger)
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