What to Expect from the Hotel FF&E Supply Chain in 2023
Manufacturing furniture, fixtures, and equipment and shipping finished goods to US hotels have been much more challenging since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, nearly three years later, things are getting better but still different than they used to be.
In this post, you’ll learn what you can expect from the hotel FF&E supply chain in 2023 so you can plan your next hotel project accordingly.
The Hotel FF&E Supply Chain in 2022: A Reflection
For various reasons, port backlogs were significant in early 2022. Ocean freight pricing and lead times were elevated throughout much of the year. These turned into port yard backups due to truck driver shortages and, in turn, slowed pickups and deliveries to clients. This domino effect delayed many hotel projects and added to their costs.
Towards the end of 2022, although port labor challenges remained, we saw far fewer port backups and a slow reduction in sea freight charges. Foreign manufacturers were producing faster and shipping lead times were generally getting shorter.
In contrast, domestic trucking faced more headwinds at year-end. Conditions overall had improved slightly, but FedEx, UPS, and less-than-truckload rates were up. Diesel fuel pricing remained high even without supply issues, and driver shortages persisted.
The Hotel FF&E Supply Chain in 2023: Looking Forward
While it won’t happen overnight, and fuel pricing is always a big variable, we expect continued supply chain improvement overall in 2023. Chinese New Year will be a factor in Q1, although its impact won’t be a surprise. This year, we don’t anticipate CNY delays beyond what is typical. However, COVID is spreading rampantly in China right now after the government recently discarded its strict Zero-COVID policy. COVID’s surge there could hamper the Chinese workforce, along with China’s manufacturing and port capacity, which would delay production schedules and deliveries to the US. We’ll have to keep an eye on COVID in China for what’s next.
We are seeing many manufacturers diversify their production locations to help offset potential issues. Many have left China or plan to do so as soon as possible. Another positive trend in 2023 is the continued stabilization of sea freight charges paired with improved ocean freight lead times. We should be past the days of shipments on the water costing more and taking longer than anyone can imagine. But unfortunately, port labor and driver shortages remain an issue.
Certain FF&E manufacturers and product categories are still struggling with longer production times – we don’t know when seating will improve, for example. Project timelines continue to experience delays, and the challenges can be different for each project. But overall, domestic and overseas producers are gradually reducing lead times compared to last year and the year before. We believe general improvement should continue throughout 2023. This is welcome news for hoteliers looking for faster revenue and less downtime!
Working with the Hotel FF&E Supply Chain in 2023
To avoid costly delays, select an experienced FF&E provider who can navigate product and vendor selection and actively manage the dynamic shipping schedule to ensure timely delivery. The best FF&E providers are hands-on and know that clear and open communication between the manufacturers, freight carriers, hotel owner, general contractor, design, and procurement teams is critical for minimizing delays.
At Innvision, we pride ourselves on working with a diversified portfolio of manufacturing partners who constantly work to avoid production pitfalls and deliver quality on time. As consumers, we all know “you get what you pay for,” so select the quality and dependability you need for your project to succeed. Cutting quality means cutting corners, which impacts delivery, adds hidden costs, and can prevent you from putting guestrooms into service.
So, contact us today if you’re considering a hotel project and looking for a skilled and experienced hotel interior design and FF&E procurement provider!