Supply chain headaches persist for foodservice manufacturers

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A recent survey among foodservice equipment manufacturers found shipping challenges among the main concerns

Supply chain issues caused by component shortages, shipping challenges and tariffs continue to be a headache for manufacturers in the $15bn US foodservice equipment and supplies industry. According to a recent member survey from the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM), more than 96% of respondents face escalating supply chain issues. The ongoing disruptions impact the ability of businesses to compete, grow, control costs, fulfill orders and, ultimately, maintain employees.

“These unprecedented, concurrent pressures on the industry continue to increase,” said Charlie Souhrada, NAFEM vice president, regulatory & technical affairs. “Tariffs, shortages and shipping delays all hamper the industry’s ability to meet the equipment and supplies needs of the $931+ billion food-away-from home market, including more than one million locations in the US and countless more around the world.”

Spiralling costs and delays

Topping the list of concerns among members are supply shortages and the rising costs of shipping while tariffs on imported metals and goods from China and shipping delays round out the industry’s concerns.

Limited access to essential steel and aluminum, the industry’s most cumbersome supply challenge, increased from 52% in the April survey to 75% in August. Shortages of plastics, polyurethane/foam insulation and semi-conductors increased as well. All repsondents said these supply shortages are abilities to control costs while 92% said it affects their ability to fulfill orders and 83% said it hampered growth and 63% said the supply chain challenges made it harder to compete.

Meanwhile more than 76% of those surveyed reported supply issues on Chinese imports, up from 60% in April. NAFEM also reported a worsening in the delays of domestic transportation from April to August.

Tina Nielsen