Shops warn of Christmas shortages after container port at Felixstowe becomes clogged


Christmas logjam! Shops warn of festive stock shortages after Britain’s biggest container port at Felixstowe becomes clogged up with 11,000 PPE containers

  • 30% of container space at Port of Felixstowe is taken up by Government’s PPE
  • The Government is understood to have nowhere else to store it, sources claim
  • Another issue at Felixtowe is a massive increase in orders placed by several firms
  • Spike is effect of the coronavirus crisis as business try to restock after lockdown
  • Firms also seeking to stock up as end of Britain’s Brexit transition period looms

Shops could see stock shortages this Christmas as 11,000 shipping containers full of PPE bought by the Government are stuck in Britain’s busiest container port.

Currently 30 per cent of container space at the Port of Felixstowe is being taken up by the PPE order as the Government have nowhere else to store it, sources claim.

This backlog of containers – some of which have been there since August – is a ‘significant factor’ in the current congestion seen at the port.

Another issue at Felixtowe – which takes on around 40 per cent of the UK’s container shipments – is a massive increase in orders placed by several firms.

The spike is a knock-on effect of the coronavirus crisis as business try to replace orders from other countries that were delayed or cancelled during the first lockdown.

Shops could see stock shortages this Christmas as 11,000 shipping containers full of PPE bought by the Government are stuck in Britain’s busiest container port in Felixstowe (file image)

Many firms are also seeking to stock up on goods as the end of Britain’s Brexit transition period looms. 

A Felixstowe spokesperson told The Guardian that the containers being at the port since August ‘does create additional pressure on top of a more general spike in volumes being experienced worldwide’.

The port stressed that it is ‘proud to support the government and to play a small part in helping ensure the NHS does not run out of vital PPE during this pandemic’ and it is working with the Health Department to get the containers moved.

It is not the first time waves of delays at ports have been predicted as the Brexit deadline looms

Earlier this week, business chiefs warned of the risk of widespread disruption at Channel ports after Brexit because new IT systems set up to handle the transit of more than 17,000 goods a day will not work.

Currently 30 per cent of container space at the Port of Felixstowe is being taken up by the PPE order as the Government have nowhere else to store it, sources claim

Currently 30 per cent of container space at the Port of Felixstowe is being taken up by the PPE order as the Government have nowhere else to store it, sources claim

Preparations for checks on goods entering and leaving the UK from Kent are likely to cause widespread chaos with the new ‘untested, incomplete’ system.

With 6.3 million movements of goods estimated under transit arrangements every year – just over 17,000 a day – the new network is said to take 45 minutes longer than currently for a single customs declaration.

The Customs Declarations Service (CDS) replaces the old Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.

Des Hiscock, director general of The UK Association for International Trade, warned the consequences could be catastrophic and added the new system ‘does not make sense’.   

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk