UK gov urged to act on gridlocked ports as the Brexit deadline looms

UK gov urged to act on gridlocked ports as the Brexit deadline looms

The UK government is facing immense pressure to act on the country’s gridlocked container ports, since the looming Brexit deadline is resulting in nearly thousands of supplementary truckloads of products and goods heading to the Channel ports in France, creating traffic queues as well as delays.

The delays spreading out from key container ports like London Gateway, Southampton, and Felixstowe are now being intensely felt in a variety of industries. Retailers are struggling to get inventory into stores as well as to customers in time for the essential Christmas period.

The BRC and other groups representing the UK’s logistics, ports, and shipping sectors are also appealing Grant Shapps, transport secretary for help.

Retailers are reporting of 25% week-on-week increases in shipping cost with shippers also charging additional ‘congestion charge’ on shipments to counterbalance long unloading times and berthing delays in the country.

Andrew Opie, director, food and sustainability at BRC, stated that the retailers had been working overtime so as to rearrange as well as redirect incoming load to make sure that the customers could get the items they need, however some postponements appear unavoidable.

Rory Munday, MD, Daygard Logistics, which transfers nearly 250 containers every week through the major ports, stated that the situation was getting far more worse since shipping lines unpacked containers at mainland European ports rather than in the UK.

Munday further added that numerous households have had a very hard year, and in the upcoming year they would see the cost of most of the things they purchase daily increasing rapidly.

The end of the transition period for Brexit was always anticipated to result in teething troubles on the border, however the global pandemic has further added a novel dimension to disaster planning.

The congestion at ports had been an issue since September, Munday said, and prompt government action might have prevented the country from seeing such escalation.

Source credit: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/dec/10/uk-ports-gridlocked-and-retailers-struggling-as-brexit-deadline-looms