Supermarkets are looking for alternative ways to bring food into the UK as overcrowding causes ships to be diverted from the UK’s main port.
A “further disruption” in supply chains may be “inevitable” after the British retail consortium, Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, said it was directing large ships away as the UK’s main port of choking- There are A-blocks.
Congestion is low due to the lack of available HGV drivers to move unloaded containers to free up space.
On a visit to an HGV training center near Oldham in Greater Manchester, Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said the reduction was “absolutely visionary”.
“For heaven’s sake, it was predicted, it was absolutely far-sighted, and the government did not respond,” he said.
“We knew when we left the EU that we would need a plan B regarding drivers, we knew there would be an impact because of the pandemic, and here we are in the middle of a crisis and we’ve got, What? A prime minister who is missing in action.”
Maersk has said it has begun resupplying larger vessels from Felixstowe port in Suffolk, which is the gateway for 36 percent of the country’s shipping containers. Instead, goods destined for the UK are being transferred on smaller ships, which takes time for things to arrive.
Lars Mikel Hansen, head of the global ocean network in Maersk, told The Financial Times On Monday: “We had to stop operations on a ship because there was nowhere to discharge the containers.
“Felixstow is one of the top two or three most hit terminals” [globally]. We have to take some of the larger ships away from Felixstow and relay some of the smaller ships for cargo.
He added: “We did it for a while over the summer and now we’re starting to do it again.”
The British Retail Consortium said on Tuesday that the overcrowding in Felixstow was another consequence of the ongoing HGV driver shortage. Andrew Opie, Director of Food and Sustainability, explained: “Since cargo cannot be moved rapidly, there is a backlog of containers at ports that is preventing new vessels from docking and unloading.”
The organization, which counts most high street retailers and supermarkets as members, said that “retailers are working closely with suppliers to mitigate issues, including finding alternative routes to bring the good into the country.” But further disruption may be inevitable.”
He called on the government to expand the temporary visa scheme to increase the pool of HGV drivers available.
The trade body for UK port operators also said on Tuesday that some ports are managing storage space with “short-term restrictions”.
Tim Morris, chief executive of UK Major Ports Group, said: “As the UK’s gateway to 95 per cent of trade, ports are jammed sandwiched between growing, volatile shipping and UK supply chains that have been severely impacted by factors such as HGV drivers. are lacking.”
He said the ports are now operating round the clock and have increased the capacity of trucks to help ease the pressure.
He added: “So ports have to manage access to storage space very dynamically in extreme situations. This could mean some very limited short-term restrictions.”
trade journal, Groceryreported that many shipping containers in Felixstow are now spending approximately 10 days at the port before being collected, which is higher than the typical average of four and a half days.
Tesco has already said that it has increased the use of rail freight to try and reduce the impact of driver shortages on stock.
The chief executive, Ken Murphy, said the supermarket had set a target of delivering 90,000 40 feet of good containers a year via trains by the end of 2021, up from about 65,000 at this time.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /