Once again, the construction industry is facing significant challenges due to material availability and price increases. Copper prices hit a record high on May 15, 2024, and have gained around 30% in 2024. Accordingly, copper, essential for electrical components and wiring, has seen prices soar this year, exacerbating supply chain disruptions and increasing project costs. Contractors are struggling with procurement delays and material shortages, which are straining project schedules and budgets. In order to deal with the price increase and material shortages like that of copper, contractors can adopt several strategies to mitigate these risks:

  • Escalation Clauses in Contracts: Including price escalation clauses in contracts can help manage cost increases by sharing the burden between contractors and owners. These clauses should specify volatile materials and allow for advance purchasing or price locking.
  • Flexible Project Planning: Adjusting project schedules to anticipate material delays and considering alternative materials or suppliers can help mitigate project disruptions. Contractors should also consider storing materials in advance.
  • Revisiting Force Majeure Clauses: Updating force majeure clauses to account for current events, including supply chain issues caused by geopolitical conflicts, can provide legal protection against unforeseen disruptions.

By proactively addressing these issues, contractors can better navigate the challenges posed by volatile material prices and maintain project stability.

Please contact DWT's construction and government contracts team with questions or comments.