CTI survey – Timber supply chain open for business in May

CTI survey – Timber supply chain open for business in May

ARTICLE · By Confederation of Timber Industries · 12 May 2020

The timber supply chain is gearing up for business according to a Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) survey released today, with almost all businesses to reopen in May.

The third of businesses which never closed, as shown in the survey, are set to be rejoined by the rest of the respondents, with most (99%) having either reopened or planning to this month. Other interesting insights from the survey include:

  • While only 12% 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%), or are operating at minimal (33%), or medium (35%) capacity.
  • If quarantine measures were lifted, and in light of recent Government advice on returning to work, 54% of businesses said they could return to full capacity immediately, and a further 34% 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 on line, 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.”  

Further information Disclaimer: This survey is only a snapshot designed to give an indication for how the industry is responding to COVID-19 and should not be interpreted as representing all members of the timber supply chain. There were 109 respondents to the survey, which was conducted via Survey Monkey between 27 April and 6 May 2020. About the Confederation of Timber Industries: The Confederation of Timber Industries is an umbrella organisation which represents the UK’s timber supply chain. Member associations of the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) include the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), Structural Timber Association (STA), Timber Trade Federation (TTF), Trussed Rafter Association (TRA) and Wood Protection Association (WPA).