The extent of the developing crisis in the availability of products and materials is revealed in the latest state of trade survey by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association.
In the second quarter poll, 73% of firms are experiencing supply problems, more than double the number (29%) reporting issues in the first three months of the year.
Around half are struggling to find skilled operatives for the heated-up infrastructure sector, while nearly one in four are now complaining about the availability of plant, up from 8% in the first quarter.
Costs and tender price balances have also hit an all-time high, threatening to undermine the sector’s ability to deliver the projects and jobs necessary to drive the UK’s continuing economic recovery.
CECA chief executive Alasdair Reisner said: “It will come as no surprise to anyone trading in the infrastructure sector at the moment that members are experiencing rising costs and tender prices.
“While it is to be welcomed that order books in the industry are showing sustained growth, the challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit continue to place businesses under pressure.
“We call on Government to work with industry to identify practical steps that can be taken to alleviate these concerns, and ensure that the infrastructure sector is able to deliver the planned pipeline of investment as efficiently as possible, to the ultimate benefit of businesses and communities in all parts of the UK.”