SURREY – More than three-quarters of B.C. construction businesses are experiencing supply chain challenges, according to the results of a survey of Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) member companies.

The survey showed that 76% of businesses are taking more time to source construction materials for projects, including:

  • 74% in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley
  • 88% on Vancouver Island
  • 88% in the Interior and Okanagan
  • 68% in northern B.C.

“Supply chain disruption is a significant industry issue that is impacting construction and other markets across B.C., Canada and indeed globally. 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,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA President. “Manufacturers worldwide are struggling with labour shortages and logistics breakdowns – in the short term, there is no relief in sight. The result in B.C. is rising costs for construction and project delays.”

B.C. construction companies say the impact of these supply chain issues is being felt in two key ways:

Impact Total Metro-Van Van Island Interior North
Increased Prices 63% 65% 46% 57% 53%
Project Delays 79% 77% 77% 89% 74%

“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.”

Even dump trucks are in short supply in British Columbia. It is now a common occurrence for contractors to be facing daily shortages of up to half of the trucks they need on projects – and supply chain bottlenecks mean major manufacturers won’t take orders for new trucks until late 2022.

While unappreciated and rarely discussed, the reality is that trucks are the critical movers of excavated soil and aggregates that are necessary in the construction of our houses, roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and all major infrastructure projects.

“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. “In an era where housing and construction costs continue to rise seemingly unchecked, supply chain constraints are another key factor putting pressure on affordability in the B.C. market.”