UK News

Port backlogs: Minister insists supply chain crisis ‘improving’ but toy shops warn customers to buy early for Christmas

The supply chain crisis on the UK’s largest industrial delivery port is “improving”, in accordance to a authorities minister, regardless of retailers warning shopper to buy early for Christmas.

It got here as a significant world delivery company diverted vessels away from Felixstowe and to different ports in Europe, citing a backlog of containers in Britain.

The choice by Maersk prompted fears of supply delays simply as customers begin shopping for items for Christmas.

Conservative Party co-chairman Oliver Dowden insisted the Government is “working through these challenges” amid a build-up of cargo at UK ports.

He advised Sky News: “The situation is improving. I’m confident that people will be able to get their toys for Christmas.

“Some people buy very early for Christmas – my wife is quite an early Christmas buyer – others buy later. I would say just buy as you do normally.”

However, the problem of constructing backlogs on the ports has seen some retailers warning of potential shortages this winter.

Gary Grant, who runs the toy retailer The Entertainer, warned it could be troublesome to guarantee cabinets are stocked throughout the nation.

“There’ll never be toy shops with no toys,” he stated.

“There will be toy shops without all the toys that they would normally expect to have due to the shortages, and that is largely down to transportation and warehouse issues, rather than there being a shortage of toys.”

He stated that he expects Barbie dolls and Paw Patrol toys to be among the many youngsters’s favourites almost certainly to run out quick.

Robert Gliddon, proprietor of Gliddons Toy Shop in Sidmouth, Devon, urged customers to “buy now” to keep away from Christmas disappointment amid fears that ongoing supply chain issues will end in increased costs and empty cabinets.

He stated: “It’s not just shortages – you’ve got to face the reality of price rises, anything from 10% to 15% on anything from across the seas.”

He suggested customers: “If you see it, buy it, and be prepared to pay more before Christmas.”

Mr Gliddon stated his store is presently effectively stocked because of heavy ordering during the last two months in anticipation of supply points within the run-up to Christmas, when demand is heaviest.

Meanwhile, UK Major Ports Group chief govt Tim Morris advised the PA information company: “Our view would be that there’s no need to panic. The global supply chains are very busy, but they’re pretty robust.

“There’ll be short term some fluctuations, but retailers, their suppliers, all the logistics companies that work in between the manufacturing and the sales side will be working really, really hard to keep supplies moving.”

The UK’s port trade has additionally warned that some ports are managing entry to cupboard space with “short-term restrictions” in a bid to ease congestion points.

Andrew Opie, director of meals and sustainability on the British Retail Consortium, stated: “Congestion at the Port of Felixstowe is yet another unwanted side-effect of the HGV driver shortage.

“As cargo cannot be removed fast enough, there is a backlog of containers at the ports which is preventing new ships from docking and unloading.”

Additional reporting by PA

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