Retailers and food and beverage companies have called on MPs to launch an urgent inquiry into the disruption in British ports, as delays in the delivery of goods could last for months.
Delays mean consumers will have to pay higher Christmas prices and companies may not be able to build up stocks of goods to see them through Brexit disruption, the retail and food and beverage industry warned, groups in a letter written by Parliamentary Transport and International Trade Chairs.
The cost of importing goods has risen in recent weeks, as the epidemic has knocked demand and production out of sync around the world. Shipping executives have reported a shortage of containers in China, with British companies raising Brexit reserves as well as raising prices.
UK ports such as Felixstowe and Southampton have struggled with increased workloads, thus delaying deliveries and prompting some ships to avoid British ports altogether and choose Rotterdam or Zebrak. Barriers contributed Mile long queues of trucks In Dover and Foxstone.
Retailers from IKEA to The Entertainer and AO.com have announced their holdings in ports. The Honda car plant in Swindon was forced to suspend production for two days last week due to a shortage of imported parts. On Wednesday, Dixon said it was also experiencing port delays, although issues have not yet been filtered to stores.
Ports Industrial Lobby Group Logistics UK ports are under considerable pressure and added: “There is a high volume and delays can last for several months.”
Logistics UK’s Joe McLaren said: “The Covit-19 has created unprecedented volatility in the supply chain. The seasonal pressures caused by the Christmas retail market and before the introduction of tariff controls at the end of the Middle Ages, businesses are stockpiling, and the pressure on the supply chain is enormous. ”
He added: “Clarity on our future relationship with the EU is very important and we will continue to work to secure a free trade agreement.”
The government relaxed last month the implementation of the hourly limit for truck drivers after the British Retail Federation sought help. However, the PRC and the Food and Beverage Federation warned that some delays were inevitable. They said the expiration of the Brexit transition period on January 1 would put even more pressure on ports.
PRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said the issues needed to be resolved urgently and that the promise of an inquiry would help improve the study.
However, an inquiry is unlikely to resolve port issues before the new year, as transport and international trade groups should not be until January 6. The transportation committee had earlier asked for evidence on the ports in October.
“The most important time of the year for retailers is before Christmas,” Dickinson said. “After the biggest challenge 2020, the cash flows of many companies are under severe pressure, so businesses are not in a position to absorb these additional shipping costs.
As a result, consumers will pay the final price. Christmas orders can be delayed, and retailers have no choice but to increase product prices. ”
The disruption has affected all companies that rely on a steady supply of materials, including Honda, IKEA and the construction industry.
I.H.S. The latest Purchasing Managers’ Index, released by the Market and Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Distribution, showed that 45% of companies find it difficult to cope with long delivery times from suppliers. Only 2% improved in November.
With the exception of the onset of the epidemic in the last two decades, manufacturers have reported delays of unprecedented levels.