Thomas: Shipping Limitations Forecast for Q3 Will Drive Up Prices

July 21, 2021

Thomas released its ‘2021 Q2 Sourcing Activity Snapshot,’ identifying the top products and services sourced by North American manufacturers, as well as sharing predictions for Q3 industrial sourcing trends.

The Q2 sourcing data recap highlights trends within the U.S. manufacturing and industrial economy drawn from anonymized, aggregated sourcing activity across the® platform, which serves 1.3+ million active registered users and 14 million industrial professionals. Q3 trends are also expected to be impacted by reshoring activities, shipping and transportation delays, as well as further investment in digital transformation to help drive the sector forward.

“As industry continues to adapt to supply chain disruptions and the aftermath of the pandemic, we are seeing strong demand across a wide range of categories, reflecting a continued recovery,” said Thomas President and CEO Tony Uphoff. “Our Sourcing Activity Snapshot shows that companies are embracing advanced manufacturing technology to both meet increased demand and overcome supply chain challenges. The report shows a vibrant manufacturing market overall and provides insights into specific areas of sourcing that will continue to impact industry and the broader economy as we move into Q3.”

The full 2021 Q2 Sourcing Activity Snapshot is now available for download. A brief overview includes:

Top 10 2021 Q2 Manufacturing Trends:

TOP 10 Products in Q2

1. Adhesives

2. Medical Equipment & Supplies

3. Steel

4. Packaging

5. Printed Circuit Boards

6. Face Masks

7. Tools

8. Labels

9. Food Products

10. Lumber

TOP 10 Services in Q2

1. Machining

2. Engineering Services

3. CNC Machining

4. Commercial Printing Services

5. Plumbing Contractors

6. Plastic Injection Molding Services

7. Metal Fabrication

8. Manufacturing Services

9. Tube Fabrication & Bending Services

10. Third Party Logistics (3PL) Services

TOP 10 Products and Services

Sourced Q2 Year Over Year (2020/2021)

1. CNC Turning; up 1,432%

2. Dry Ice; up 1,053%

3. Oxygen Concentrator 797%

4. Vinyl Fences 565%

5. Pressure Pumps; up 533%

6. Design & Building Engineering Services; up 527%

7. Private Label Candles; up 492%

8. Wallpaper; up 491%

9. Software; up 491%

10. Network Installation Services; up 436%

2021 Q3 predictions include:

Shipping Services: 5-8% Projected Increase

Due to the nationwide shortage of truck drivers and exponential increase in e-Commerce, industrial companies will face challenges with shipping logistics that may cause substantial delays. As a result, Thomas anticipates a 5-8% increase in sourcing for Shipping Services (alongside predicted growth in Trucking Services) during Q3.

Food Contract Manufacturing: 8-11% Projected Increase

Still reeling from the impacts of COVID-19 and scrambling to address continued, long-term disruptions, the food supply chain has had a tumultuous first half of 2021. Thomas expects related categories, specifically Food Contract Manufacturing, to see sustained sourcing growth over Q3 of 8-11%.

Building Products: 11-14% Projected Increase

While recent price surges for key materials like lumber have slowed production during Q2, growing momentum in home construction, infrastructure investments, and other building projects will drive 11-14% sourcing activity growth in the category of Building Products through Q3 2021.

3D Printers: 12-15% Projected Increase

Ongoing investments in digital transformation and the increasing adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies will continue to shape the industrial sector in Q3. As a result, sourcing for 3D Printers for use in a broad range of additive manufacturing applications industry-wide will increase by 12-15% over the next quarter.

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