Concrete Ontario warns of shortages caused by COVID-19

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Concrete Ontario (the Ready Mixed Concrete Association of Ontario) has warned contractors that ready-mix concrete and cement shortages are likely this fall because of COVID-19.

In a bulletin, the association says pressures from the pandemic will “likely continue to impact the supply of concrete for the foreseeable future.”

“To mitigate the potential effects of shortages and service interruptions, everyone in the supply chain should significantly advance their planning and preparation to ensure a stable supply of concrete and their ability to meet the increased demand,” the notice says.

Concrete Ontario says ready-mix producers’ “well-established business processes, systems and facilities are under increased strain” because:

  • The economic shutdown in the spring and early summer, as well as the restrictions of the emergency orders, placed unusual pressure on supply chains and cement inventories;
  • Because of business’s seasonal nature, the “fall traditionally sees an increased demand for cement and concrete as projects are nearing completion prior to the winter season;”
  • Pent-up demand as a result of jobsites that were deemed non-essential having to postpone their projects, leading to an unexpected increase and resurgence in construction activity, causing record high demand for concrete; and
  • Favourable fall weather conditions, such as mild temperatures and long periods without rain, creating ideal concreting conditions which impede the cement industry’s ability to replenish their inventory.

Concrete Ontario tells ready-mix producers to advise clients that they should plan their orders well in advance – and place orders seven to days ahead of scheduled pour dates to deal with the shortages of cement, slag and concrete.

Producers should “establish and communicate realistic timelines to manage customer expectations so you can continue to supply your customer projects with minimum delays,” Concrete Ontario says.


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