Deadlock in UK’s busiest commercial port adds to Christmas fears | World

By PAN PYLAS Associated Press

LONDON (AP) – A standoff in the UK’s busiest commercial port on Wednesday raised concerns that the country could face shortages during the crucial Christmas holiday period, including of toys and food.

In recent weeks, concern has mounted that the UK’s economic recovery is being hampered by widespread shortages, which have been most clearly seen in long lines at petrol stations and in some empty shelves. supermarkets.

The disruption is clearly visible in the Port of Felixstowe in eastern England, the UK’s largest commercial port. A container bottleneck at the port, which handles 36% of UK freight container volumes, has been blamed on a shortage of drivers.

The build-up of cargo has prompted the Maersk shipping company to divert some of its larger ships from UK ports to others in Europe, where it uses smaller ships to make deliveries to the UK.

“With Felixstowe handling almost 40% of all containers to and from the UK, this adds even more imbalance to the UK supply chain, especially in the current peak consumer period that we are entering before Christmas, ”said Alex Hersham, managing director of London-based digital freight forwarding company Zencargo.

“It is essential that retailers and consumers prepare for a prolonged supply chain disruption and plan for what will be a Christmas heavily impacted by these issues,” he added.

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