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The number of purchase orders and invoices made across global supply chains rose by 15% in Q3 2020, but post-Covid-19 recovery in the UK lagged behind the rest of the world. 



However, according to research by TradeShift, which analysised transaction data flowing between buyers and suppliers, the recovery of supply chain activity in the UK was below global averages.

Trade activity levels in the UK had dropped by 23% in Q2,  but the bounce-back in transaction volumes during Q3 was much weaker. Tradeshift said that after a relatively strong July, a fall in activity during August and September meant that UK supply chain activity finished the quarter just 6.1% up on Q2.

By comparison transactions in the Eurozone grew by the greatest margin, up 26% in Q3, while the US also exceeded the global average, growing by 17% in Q3.

Christian Lanng, Chief Executive of Tradeshift, said: “When the restrictions began to ease, we saw orders start to surge in June. This momentum continued into July before tailing off rapidly as supply lines normalised.

“Order volumes on our platform are comfortably ahead of where they were in Q2, but supply chains will need to hit a higher gear again in Q4 before we can to point to a sustainable recovery. The next few months will be critical.

“Lack of digitisation in global supply chains makes it very hard to unlock the liquidity that’s owed to suppliers.”