COVID-19 coronavirus: Information for our customers
To our valued customers and partners,
As the world responds to the challenge of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the team here at Plastribution wishes you and your loved ones the best of health.
Plastribution is committed to providing both a safe working environment for our employees, and ensuring business continuity for all our customers and partners. As such, we have executed a comprehensive contingency plan covering multiple scenarios including an increased move to working from home. We have ensured that our teams are capable of performing their various job responsibilities remotely with no drop in productivity or service quality, and we are committed to keeping our cloud-based platform fully operational, without interruption.
We have set up a Plastribution COVID-19 team to monitor the situation. We are informing staff in what is a rapidly changing situation, and following the advice issued by the Government.
We firmly believe that businesses should be helping each other where possible during this period of unprecedented change and uncertainty.
We would value insights from your own experiences as we work through the challenge of managing this within our own business.
Wishing you the best of health,
The Plastribution Team
Supply Chain Updates
Last updated: 24/09/20
We are regularly checking with our supply partners and, so far, all Plastribution thermoplastics suppliers report that there has been no direct impact on production. However, we are starting to encounter tight supply of some products due to reduced operating rates at European plants, particularly for products where demand is strong, for example those used in packaging or medical applications. We are also starting to see temporary shortages of certain types of product that are not manufactured in Europe and rely on imports from the US and the Middle East, such as some grades of LLDPE and HDPE, due to delays in the supply chain or preferential supply to other regions. Please check with us if you would like more information on the materials or grades most important to you.
Delays at Borders
We have heard from logistics providers that borders in Europe are easing and that leadtimes are improving. However, we are monitoring the situation closely and continue to factor increased lead times into our stock replenishment systems. Should you normally order full truckloads of materials which come straight from the manufacturers’ plant or European storage hub direct to your premises, it may be wise to allow additional time.
UK ports, particularly Felixstowe, are reporting significant delays at present, in part due to restrictions in manpower caused by Covid but also due to a significant increase in import container volumes. There are also issues with the capacity of the rail freight network for ongoing deliveries. We are monitoring the situation closely but it is wise to add additional lead-times to your planning process.
Our key service providers have worked hard to put contingency plans in place and so far, all deliveries to customers from our UK warehouses are going ahead although some special arrangements such as timed deliveries may not be possible. We are also encountering some capacity issues at busy times such as the start of the month. It may be sensible to allow an additional 24 hours to your lead-time if delivery dates are critical.
The picture on pricing is currently complex. The dramatic fall in the oil price has meant substantial reductions in the prices of some key feedstocks however this trend has now reversed and feedstock costs are rising. Producers have sought to pass these increased costs on to polymer pricing. We are also mindful that shortages of some polymers due to reduced operating rates and supply chain delays are likely to mean that prices quickly start to rise as demand recovers. We will keep you informed through our Price Know How publication and tweets.
Plastribution Polymer Availability
So far, we have not encountered any issues that have impacted our ability to supply our customers from our standard stock range held in our UK warehouses. Our UK stock levels remain healthy. Our main warehouse providers continue to provide excellent service. Please contact us if you have any concerns about availability of materials or grades that are critical to your business.
We will continue to monitor the situation very closely in case reduced capacity at polymer plants or extended lead times due to shipping delays begin to impact UK stocks.
Customer Service & Technical Support
Please be assured that we remain committed to providing the highest levels of customer service and continue to be available for any technical or commercial support you require. We are effectively using technology to ensure we can provide any support you need remotely using your preferred video conferencing platform. We are also resuming visits to your premises as required, subject to appropriate risk assessment.
How to Contact Us
Employee safety is our absolute priority and all of our employees are now working from home. Details of how to contact the most relevant contact for your enquiry can be found here.
Please be assured that we remain committed to providing the highest levels of customer service and remain at your disposal for any technical or commercial support you require. And whilst visits to your premises are no longer possible, we are effectively using technology to ensure we can provide any support you need.