New Zealand exporters are facing higher costs and lower frequency of transport options to get their products to market, largely due to the impact of Covid-19 on supply chains around the world, according to an ExportNZ-DHL survey.
The dramatic reduction in commercial air passenger travel has increased the cost of airfreight and forced more exports onto ships, ultimately impacting supply chains globally, the survey found.
The survey of more than 270 exporters found that the top barriers to doing business have changed substantially from previous years, with the costs of logistics and transport shooting into the top spot, followed closely by Covid-19 and the general costs of doing business.
"What is promising, is after being in the top three major barriers for the last five years running, Kiwi exporters' concern around the 'level of the NZ dollar' has dropped significantly to the seventh major barrier," DHL said.
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"This probably says less about the level of the dollar and more about the increase in other barriers such as transport costs," it said.
When looking into the impact that Covid-19 has had on exporters, two thirds of respondents said that they didn't feel a negative impact on their export opportunities as a result.
While exporters were cautious, over 84 per cent of respondents did not expect to see a decrease in business orders in 2021.
This year's ExportNZ DHL Export Barometer results also showed that there have been some substantial changes in the way that New Zealand businesses work.
DHL said more than 51 per cent of exporters have changed and adapted business models amid the pandemic.
"Kiwi businesses are thinking hard about their supply chain reliability with 33 per cent of respondents saying they were trying to reduce their reliance on other markets by creating more products locally," DHL said.
"In spite of this, exporters are being careful to maintain their competitiveness and not invest too heavily on business costs when they are already struggling with increased transportation and other Covid related costs," it said.