To fill empty supermarket shelves before Christmas, the government must solve the UK’s supply chain issues, say UK-based material handling experts.
Empty Shelves and Delayed Deliveries
As many shoppers face empty shelves and delayed deliveries in their local supermarkets, one leading manual handing provider suggests that the situation cannot be solved until the Government firmly prioritises current supply chain issues.
Midland Pallet Trucks, a provider of high-quality manual handling equipment including pallet trucks, manual stacker trucks and lift tables, has reported that many of their customers are facing a two-pronged issue that’s lead to empty shelves across the country; delays at the border, and driver shortages.
Failing to Meet Christmas & Black Friday Orders
As the logistics industry sets up for the busiest time of the year; Christmas and Black Friday, many firms have been left in a stalemate position. Their incoming supply of goods has been halted with severe delays at UK ports, but demand from retailers has been stronger than ever. Without serious investment from the Government, Midland Pallet Trucks warn that these delays will continue right up until Christmas.
As supermarkets fight to prioritise their deliveries, almost a third of lorries on the road are empty as shortage issues become exacerbated by the growing demand of shoppers and retailers. Despite initial action to encourage HGV drivers to return to the field, or upskill new drivers, the situation has shown no early signs of recovery.
Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Midland Pallet Trucks says “The logistics industry in the UK has been dealt blow after blow in recent months, there’s not much else we can do without some serious support from the Government.
Supermarket shelves across the country have little to no stock, and it’s all down to the shortage of drivers and impractical rules places on goods and drivers coming from abroad. We need the Government to take action, or else risk a pretty bleak festive season for everyone.”
As supermarkets look to alternative transport routes, like Tesco increasing their use of rail freight by 40%, and customers starting to stockpile food in preparation for Christmas, the situation is a volatile one that’s hanging in the balance. But as Midland Pallet Trucks suggest, decisive Government intervention could be the way out of current issues.