The biggest challenges facing importers and exporters in Wales lie with supply issues, says Chambers Wales.

The leading business membership organisation in Wales says it is helping hundreds of businesses who trade internationally who have been affected by volatility in the supply chain.

While demand for air cargo has risen according to recent statistics released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), capacity remains 9.7% below pre-Covid levels due to the ongoing grounding of passenger aircraft.

In many cases, freight that had been transported by air pre-pandemic is having to be moved by slower sea routes. Businesses in Wales and globally are frustrated by the delays in moving goods caused by shortages of labour and materials. A lack of skilled drivers, container shortages, the backlog caused by the Suez crisis and the ongoing pandemic are all negatively impacting shipping routes.

Jo Price, Director of International at Chambers Wales, said: “Rising freight costs and widespread shortages are causing a headache for exporters and importers in Wales and across the world as international trade continues to be unpredictable and volatile.

“At Chambers Wales, our experienced international team are helping to remove the stresses of current supply chain issues by providing guidance and support on global trade concerns and connecting businesses to local suppliers in Wales and the UK wherever possible.”

An additional concern around the sourcing of suitable wood for pallets used to pack and transport goods is also causing delays for businesses.

Jo added: “While many of us love to upcycle pallets as decorations or to spruce up the garden, removing these pallets from supply chains is causing headaches for businesses. Recycling them can make a huge difference at a time when these vital transport structures are in short supply. Our member business Pallet Recycling South Wales can assist with this, restoring pallets to their original quality, putting them back into the supply chain and contributing to a greener future.”

Chambers Wales offer a range of services to curate end-to-end solutions, connecting Welsh businesses with global suppliers, buyers and markets. In addition to customs intermediary services and documentation support, the organisation also offer a series of accredited international trade training courses.