The COVID-19 lockdown in spring and summer 2020 led to a huge spike in demand for hot tubs and outdoor leisure products as families suffered travel restrictions and cancellations of overseas holiday plans.
Leading hot tub brands saw an increase in global demand of over 400 per cent which has created challenging conditions for supply chain partners that are themselves trying to keep up with demand whilst operating under the restrictions of COVID-secure manufacturing practices.
Vital raw materials used to manufacture components such as acrylic, control systems and pumps have all seen bottlenecks which is impacting the ability of manufacturers to complete finished products on schedule as they wait for crucial components from their supply chain partners.
Whilst production capacity progress is being made in hot tub factories around the world, the latest crisis to hit this embattled market is due to shipping issues as overall UK imports are at record levels and container ports and shipping lines are becoming increasingly congested, leading to further delays in hot tub deliveries to patient customers that ordered earlier in the year.
“The ongoing effect of the coronavirus pandemic, along with some British ports seeing container traffic 30% above normal levels has led to a glut of empty containers across the UK,” reported Portico operations director Steve Williams.
In its latest operational update, the port of Felixstowe warned that the high import volumes “will last at least into December and possibly through into the new year.”
“We would like to thank every family in the UK that has purchased a hot tub in this most difficult of years.” commented Nick Clamp, Editor of WhatSpa? magazine.
“We understand the frustration when deliveries are delayed, especially for products that bring so much happiness and so many wellness benefits to their owners, but we urge new hot tub customers to be patient with their suppliers as these issues are completely beyond their immediate control,” explained Nick.
“You can be rest assured that everyone in the hot tub industry is working relentlessly to get hot tubs delivered to their valued customers as quickly as humanly possible, but an information void from shippers means that unfortunately it is not always possible to give definite and accurate delivery schedules in the situation that we find ourselves in at the moment.
“We are confident that these supply chain and shipping issues will be resolved as quickly as possible and every hot tub customer will receive their fantastic new hot tub very soon.
“For those that are keen to join the hot tub owners fraternity in 2021, it is vital that you allow for much longer lead times than normal as 26-60 week lead times are not uncommon at the moment, so if you want a hot tub for next summer or autumn, you need to get it on order as quickly as possible,” revealed Nick.