What you need to know about PPE & workwear for 2021
You may not be thinking about it now, but you may need to find out what’s happening with PPE, Workwear, workboots, uniforms, safety equipment, face masks etc in the coming weeks in the UK.
Expect a few changes with pricing, supplies and competition for the coming year.
The whole market for PPE, work clothing, work boots, RPE and safety products has been volatile for a while, so this is worth reading to better understand how your business can adapt and avoid some of the anticipated obstacles.
We have a few solutions to help manage the impact so your business can operate with limited disruptions.
Do you know the phrase canary in the coal mine?
Right now, you should be asking yourself: Is that canary just resting its eyes?
You know that expression: I wish I knew then what I know now?
When was the last time you thought or even said it?
Hindsight is always 20/20 because we can look back and analyse what happened with more information to evaluate our actions.
So it makes theoretical sense to say that if someone can point out a situation that can save you time, energy and money, it’s a good thing, right?
How often does it work out that way?
How often do we listen and take action?
Do you order PPE & workwear in bulk regularly?
Okay, you may be thinking what’s this got to do with wearing PPE, work boots, Hi-Vis, gloves, eye protection & workwear?
Actually, quite a lot.
It’s hard out there for every business, and for some, it’s mission impossible without the Hollywood ending.
You may be thinking this post is about Brexit or the coronavirus covid-19 it’s not entirely because there is a third issue lurking, and it’s one that people may be unaware of.
We’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating:
Shipping and carrier prices are increasing massively.
We are receiving daily notifications from our suppliers and manufacturing partners regarding the impending price increase to many product lines being shipped from the Far East.
This is also having an impact on the volumes being shipped and certain products being restricted.
You may still be thinking; What’s happening with PPE & Workwear in the UK?
Think certain types of PPE supply issues and bottlenecks as we have now but more severe as this situation stretches beyond the UK boundaries.
Shipping costs for 40ft containers were $2,900 USD just a couple of months ago, but now these companies are charging $14,500 USD for the same containers and routes.
That’s a 500% increase!
Expect prices to rise for work clothing and PPE in 2021
You may be forgiven for thinking they are transporting via the space station at those prices. But, we suspect it’s more likely some of these carriers are capitalising on the dramatic drop in available slots in air freight.
With air freight prices already high, it seems some shipping companies may have seen plenty of elasticity to price gauge and take advantage of a captive audience.
Inevitably these cost increases will be passed along the chain then ultimately onto the end-users, you.
Hence the canary reference.
Look at this post as though you’ve just seen the canary in the coal mine take a major yawn, clack its beak and start to close its eyes.
It’s time to take action – if you can!
BHI can help you buy the right personal protective equipment in bulk
What can you do?
Order PPE, workwear, uniforms or safety equipment regularly? It may be worth putting a call into us to help you navigate the anticipated price increase and potential supply issues before your business pays a higher price.
You see, dear reader, PPE is not like other products that you can choose not to purchase or go elsewhere for alternatives.
PPE is prescribed by law, risk assessments and Health & Safety protocols, and as such, you can’t just wait it out.
Well, you can, but the risk of this far outweighs any increase in prices and may close your business in short order.
This shipping and carrier situation will impact most if not all PPE & workwear suppliers, we’re just giving you the heads up rather than drop the price increases on you at the time of purchasing.
protective equipment is designed to provide a greater level of protection so your workforce can operate and make your business money.
It should not be seen as “just a cost”, the right work clothing and PPE can massively improve the working environment and the profitability for businesses.
We will say this about this prediction – We would like to be wrong!
Your choices boil down to 2 options:
1. Look at pre-ordering your required products as soon as possible to avoid price increases (wherever possible), especially if your business or your clients cannot absorb significant price rises.
2. Take the risk of waiting to see what happens with the pricing, but this also brings additional risks of competition for limited products and supply issues if importers don’t ship as many containers.
Fewer shipments may also drive-up pricing because of the limited supply and no viable alternatives.
Neither choice is ideal, it’s like being stuck between a rock and an even more rocky rock that likes Nickleback, and nobody wants that.
Now you know the answer to what’s happening with PPE & Workwear in the UK you and your company can make buying decisions with more useful information.
Beware fake PPE and safety products that are not fit for purpose
One final thing to mention, a consequence of the two options, is that some people may opt to source their PPE, workwear, hearing protection, and safety products from other sources, like social media.
You would need to be very careful when buying from some of these sources, as many are not what they seem.
Buying “cheap” products from Facebook only works out if the products are genuine, certified, CE marked, fit for purpose, and save you money at the end of the day.
You will have undoubtedly heard stories. Heck, even the NHS were duped into buying PPE through online sources that arrived not as advertised, meaning it can happen to anyone.
Make sure you know what you’re buying if you do go down this route.
Buyers remorse, false economies and increased risks are all too familiar feelings, and we don’t think it will change anytime soon.
Don’t take our word for it.
Check out the HSE news page where it lists all the cases and incident of companies being fined for PPE and safety breaches.
What is the best way to buy PPE & workwear clothing in bulk?
It’s a jungle out there, and you need the right guide so you don’t get caught out.
People will still be asking what’s happening with PPE & Workwear in the UK for many months to come, it’s our job to help people navigate those choppy waters.
One critical question for people is; during these testing times, do you have the time to look through dozens or even hundreds of products and select the right ones for your requirements?
If you do, that’s great, but the vast majority of buyers and business owners need solutions in the most efficient way possible.
Buy the right products at the best prices to deliver the performance and value your business needs.
BHI can help you navigate these situations.
We’ll help put a plan into motion to help guide you through to make buying PPE and workwear as simple, easy & effective as possible.