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2023 new

If you had issues with supply chain disruptions or faced material shortages recently, you’re not alone. A survey conducted by our digital network team at Hubs in November 2022 found that more than three-quarters of companies experienced some form of external supply chain disruption during the past year. This represents a significant increase compared to the results of the surveys we conducted in 2020 and 2021. In the 2022 survey, material shortages were the top challenge, affecting 60.9% of participants. Likewise, roughly half of all respondents reported facing material shortages more often in 2022 compared to 2021.

COVID-19 was the second biggest cause of disruptions, affecting 57% of companies in 2022. China’s strict lockdowns, driven by its zero COVID policy, have severely affected the manufacturing output in the world’s manufacturing powerhouse. For example, the output of Apple iPhones is likely to drop by 30% due to COVID-related curbs at Foxconn’s factory in Zhengzhou, leading to a shift of some iPhone production to India. Other significant concerns among survey respondents included rising energy costs, logistics issues, container shortages, port congestion, natural disasters, and trade wars.

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With a military conflict at its door, businesses in Europe experienced widespread supply chain disruptions. In contrast, Asia, home to manufacturing hubs such as China and India, fared better.

The automation/robotics industry was the most affected by supply chain disruptions, followed by the electronics and medical corporations.

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Key Differences Between 2021 and 2022 Survey Findings

  1. The latest survey shows that 70% of participants have implemented measures to improve their supply chain resilience, compared to 63% in 2021. This indicates that companies are increasingly recognizing the importance of preparing for supply chain disruptions.
  2. In the 2021 survey, 26.8% of respondents considered the pandemic to be a major supply chain concern. This number has increased significantly in the 2022 survey, with 57% of respondents citing it as the second biggest concern.
  3. 4% of respondents reported experiencing more raw material shortages in 2022 compared to 2021.

According to our survey, there were six primary supply chain disruptors in 2022:

  • Russia-Ukraine war
  • U.S.-China trade war
  • Worker strikes
  • Rising shipping costs
  • Natural disasters
  • Cybersecurity

Russia-Ukraine War

In addition to the tragic loss of lives, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has significantly affected global supply chains. The conflict has disrupted essential air freight and shipping routes, leading to disruptions in the supply of raw materials and finished goods. Unsurprisingly, almost half of the 2022 survey respondents reported that the war affected their company.

The war has far-reaching consequences. In 2020, Russia accounted for approximately 29% of crude oil and 43% of natural gas imports into the EU. The fresh round of sanctions against Russia has led to a significant increase in energy costs across Europe. As a result, many metal and chemical factories in Europe went dark in 2022. This aligns with the findings of our survey, where 55% of respondents expressed concern about the effect of rising energy costs on their businesses, and 55.6% of participants were worried about the impact of these costs on Europe’s manufacturing capabilities. Energy costs in the United States also rose significantly in response to reduced oil supplies in the world market.

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