IoD Survey Shows UK Firms Watching Supply Chains

IoD says a fifth of British importers have altered supply chains due to geopolitical pressures

IoD says a fifth of British importers have altered supply chains due to geopolitical pressures

The Institute of Directors has today published research revealing that 35% of UK importers feel impacted by geopolitical pressures.

This trend is particularly in relation to China, and the importers are subsequently examining their supply chains.

One in five importers have already made alterations to their supply chain, and a further 15% are considering making alterations.

Emma Rowland, Trade Policy Advisor at the Institute of Directors, said: It is clear businesses are sensing geopolitical shaped clouds on the horizon.

“This is particularly relevant whilst China’s standing with the US, Russia and Taiwan remains uncertain.

“The pandemic, coupled with the invasion of Ukraine, has exposed vulnerabilities in international supply chains and an over-reliance on countries perceived to be high-risk to the UK.

“Ultimately, firms are pursuing long-term stability in their supply chains, so they can provide certainty to their own end customers.

“They want to know they can rely on their international business partners long-term and not be hampered by sudden disruptions.

“Many businesses also feel uncomfortable trading with regimes that do not conform to western democratic ideals.

“It is broadly felt that a complete decoupling from China is economically impractical, at least for now.

“The fact that a significant number of businesses are willing to take on extra costs to secure their global operations shows attitudes to global trade are shifting.”

You can read the IoD’s full paper, ‘Reorienting: The impact of geopolitics on business supply chains’, here.

Full survey results

1026 responses, conducted between 12 – 28 May 2023

The questionaire:

The IoD is conducting research into how perceived geopolitical tension, particularly in relation to China, but also globally, is impacting businesses’ decisions on their supply chain.

As part of this, we are looking to talk to organisations that have made a decision about their supply chain as a result of perceived changes in geopolitical tension.

Please choose from one of the options below.

 % of total% of importers
We have altered our supply chain as a result of geopolitical tension14.9%20.5%  
We are considering altering our supply chain as a result of geopolitical tension but have not done so yet10.5%14.5%
Our supply chain has not been affected by geopolitical tension42.4%58.4%
Don’t know4.8%6.6%
(Check the full report on the link above.)