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Contractor association says supply pinch increasing costs, causing delays for construction firms

Most construction firms on Vancouver Island are facing supply-chain problems, resulting in increased costs and completion delays, according to a new survey from the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association.
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Damage to the Coquihalla Highway near Hope caused by heavy rains and mudslides in November. A recent survey showed 88 per cent of Island firms have felt the pinch of a supply chain disrupted by the global pandemic, global shipping issues and damaged transportation ­infrastructure. JONATHAN HAYWARD, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Most construction firms on Vancouver Island are facing supply-chain problems, resulting in increased costs and completion delays, according to a new survey from the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association.

The survey showed 88 per cent of Island firms have felt the pinch of a supply chain disrupted by the global pandemic, global shipping issues and damaged transportation infrastructure.

“Supply-chain disruption is a significant industry issue that is impacting construction and other markets across B.C., ­Canada and indeed globally,” said ICBA president Chris ­Gardner. “Contractors in virtually every trade and in every corner of the province are experiencing delays and challenges in getting the supplies they need to complete projects and meet deadlines.”

Gardner said manufacturers worldwide are struggling with labour shortages and logistics breakdowns, and there is no relief in sight.

On the Island, 46 per cent of construction firms surveyed said they have faced increased supply prices, and 77 per cent have been forced to delay projects as a result of supply-chain issues.

“We’re seeing shortages of everything from fixtures to ­finishings, and plastics to paint,” said Gardner. “The basic ­building blocks of ­construction are very challenging to source. Some manufacturers have stopped taking orders because they have no visibility on ­delivery dates.”

The survey noted the disruptions are also being felt in a lack of vehicles.

The ICBA said dump trucks are in short supply in the ­province and major manufacturers are not taking orders for new trucks until late 2022.

“Contractors are experiencing delays and challenges on a scale not seen in decades, as they try to get the supplies they need to complete the work they have on the books,” said ­Gardner, noting trucking is essential for all kinds of construction, from major infrastructure projects to ­homebuilding.

Supply-chain constraints are another key factor putting pressure on affordability in the B.C. market, he said.

aduffy@timescolonist.com