The global supply chain crisis has significantly impacted many industries. Garcia Newell, ESSA board member and Director, Business Development, Europe at transport and logistics company DSV Solutions, discusses why it is causing multiple challenges for the events sector…

 International events and exhibitions rely heavily on logistics, with many of our ESSA member logistics companies helping customers to transport their stands, fittings, marketing materials and more from point to point (and back again), using road, sea and air shipping methods and experienced manpower once it arrives on site

Initially fuelled by the Covid pandemic, event logistics are being further disrupted by the Russia-Ukraine war, an extended lockdown in China and Brexit, creating “a perfect storm” of factors that are resulting in lengthy delays with shipments by sea, and increased costs across all modes of transport.

For UK clients, new documentation requirements and Customs clearance rules, as a direct result of Brexit, means shipping to and from the EU takes longer. On top of that, labour shortages caused by the pandemic, which unfortunately led to many skilled professionals leaving the industry in search of more secure 9-5 jobs, are making the process of moving event supplies from a to b even more difficult.

This is by no means isolated to just the UK and Europe. The impact of supply chain issues is being felt on a global scale and is expected to continue into 2023, creating yet another source of unpredictability for event organisers to deal with.

In the short term, event logistics companies are adapting to these challenges by proactively looking for the best possible costs for shipping, scheduling shipments earlier, continuing to recruit and retain good labour, and in the case of Brexit, helping to guide and educate our customers on the relevant documents and procedures that are now required.

Our advice to event organisers, exhibitors and contractors is to allow extra time for shipping and customs clearance and where possible some contingency budget to cover any additional costs. By being proactive and planning well in advance, we can work together to lessen the impact of potential supply chain disruptions on future events.

Published in the October-November edition of Hospitality and Events North magazine



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