In the results our last Manufacturing member survey from early 2021, we were pleased to hear that most businesses were faring well, with some even reporting being twice as busy compared to normal. We were cautiously optimistic that our recent survey to round up Q3 would continue to provide improved data and once again support the good news stories we receive.

However, the results also strongly highlight the huge increases in costs, with the big offenders identified as raw materials (namely steel) and freight.

Thank you to all our members who participated, please see below for highlights.


  • 70% of surveyed members continue to experience supply chain disruption / inability to obtain exported material since Q1 2021
    “Combination of raw material shortages and slow freight forwarding movement.” 
    “There have been significant delays in shipping containers, especially from China.”

  • 65% of surveyed members report no COVID related revenue loss since Q1 2021
    “Travel restrictions significantly hinder ability to pursue new business.”
    “Stable but confidence out there is reduced.”

  • 93% of surveyed members report an increase in costs from Q1 2021, namely concerning steel and raw materials
    “Nearly every input cost has increased, from supplier costs to labour and utility costs.” 
    “Significant cost increases from most suppliers, particularly steel and packaging supplies (wood). Greater increases than any time in the last 20 years.” 
    “Shipping cost increase by 200%.”

  • 70% of surveyed members report no decrease in staff levels since Q1 2021


  • 63% of surveyed members agree that mandatory vaccination should be a condition if employment in manufacturing, citing a duty to keep employees safe and reducing potential impact on the workplace.
  • 37% disagree, citing “freedom of personal choice”, being “undecided” on the issue, or that “active encouragement” should be sufficient.
  • 88% of surveyed members are actively encouraging their employees to get vaccinated against COVID, with many allowing paid tine away from work to do so.

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