The government is facing increasing pressure to take action in the crowded UK container ports as it looms on the horizon Brixi The deadline also leads to thousands of extra trucks of cargo being routed to canal ports in France, causing delays and queues in traffic.
The delays that arose from major container ports such as Felixstowe, Southampton and the London Gateway are now acutely perceptible in a number of industries.
Retailers are struggling to get stock in stores and customers just in time for the critical Christmas period.
Thursday, Honda has been forced to stop production For two days in Swindon factory due to lack of auto parts. The Builders’ Merchant Union also reported dwindling supplies from Tools, wood and roof tiles.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) and groups representing British ports and the shipping and logistics sectors are now appealing to the Minister of Transport, Grant Shaps, for help.
In recent weeks, congestion at Felixstowe, the UK’s largest container port, as well as other locations has pushed an increasing number of ships to “cut and run” – either to unload or skip UK calls altogether to unload goods in Antwerp, Rotterdam and Zeebrugge. While that.
Retailers have reported weekly cost increases of 25%, with carriers also charging additional ‘congestion charges’ on shipments to compensate for docking delays and longer discharging times in the UK.
Andrew Obie, BRC’s director of food and sustainability, said retailers are “working overtime to rearrange and redirect incoming shipments in order to ensure customers get the items they need, but some delays appear to be inevitable”.
“The last thing the public needs is the continuation of disruption in the ports until the new year at a time when Britain’s exit from the European Union will actually put the canal crossings under much greater pressure,” he added.
Busy canal crossings are already feeling the pressure of stocking companies before the transition period ends on Dec.31.
French carriers are reporting an unprecedented volume of traffic on UK roads, by about 8,000 trucks per day It is estimated that it crosses the channel in every direction, 30% higher than normal. The extra trucks cause traffic jams in the port of Calais, as well as near the Eurotunnel station.
In a joint letter to Shapps, the nine logistics trade groups, including the British Port Association and the Road Transport Association, requested the government for help and warned of further possible disruption in January.
Rory Monday, managing director of Daygard Logistics, which transports 250 containers a week through major ports, said the situation is getting worse as shipping lines are offloading containers in major European ports instead of the UK.
He said congestion has been an issue since September, and early government measures could have prevented it from escalating.
Mondy said that changing the route of goods adds long delays, as it now takes five or six weeks for some goods to arrive, while import costs have increased.
“Many families have gone through a difficult year, and next year they will see a big increase in the prices of the things they buy weekly,” he said.
The end of the Brexit transition has always been expected to lead to emerging problems at the border, but the pandemic has added a new dimension to crisis planning.
Kingfisher, owner of B&Q and Screwfix, said that over the past month it has started using six ports, instead of two, as part of its preparations.
Thierry Garnier, CEO of Kingfisher, said the retailer “anticipated and managed the port problem with carriers … so we’re in a good place”.
Unlike supermarkets, which rely on an unhindered flow of fresh food supplies into the country, DIY products have been less sensitive to delays, which means they will have “a few weeks to adjust” if there is no deal.
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