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We will deliver Christmas, says Logistics UK

[ December 10, 2020   //   ]

Logistics UK moved to reassure businesses and consumers that the sector is doing everything it can to overcome issues at some of the UK’s ports, following media reports that key gateways are close to paralysis.

Policy manager Zoe McLernon said: “Logistics businesses are doing their utmost to maintain business as usual, working round the clock to keep trade flowing. The issues have occurred as a result of Covid 19, Christmas and Customs – impacting the industry at the same time, and we have  this week written to Secretary of State Grant Shapps outlining the situation and requesting sensible flexibilities and easements such as running more and longer freight trains to and from ports, allowing hauliers additional flexibility to collect containers outside of normal hours and the potential for drivers to take on longer shifts where possible to enable the industry to process goods through ports as quickly as possible.”

She said that Covid 19 has caused unprecedented volatility in the supply chain, both in the supply of goods and in changing the way consumers purchase products: “Add to this the increased seasonal pressures caused by the Christmas retail market, and businesses stocking up ahead of the introduction of customs controls at the end of the Transition period, and the pressure on the supply chain is immense.”

McLernon said that port congestion has eased over the past couple of weeks, although volumes remain high, and delays could persist for some months. 

“The logistics sector has shown its agility and adaptability throughout the pandemic, and in dealing with the current situation to ensure that goods continue to reach their destination.  However, we continue to need government to play its part by factoring elements such as the potential impact of disruption caused by the end of the transition period into its planning so that freight can continue to move freely, swiftly and safely with minimal delays.”