Supermarkets Bosses Warn Over Christmas Supplies
Multiple Firms of Various Sectors in The UK Are Struggling with The Crisis of The Supply Chain Due to The Reduced Amount of HGV Drivers
The heads of the supermarket chain Iceland have said that the chaos surrounding the supply chain management is getting worse, just as the retail firm has started to plan ahead for the key period of Christmas. According to Richard Walker, he has estimated that the shortage in the number of lorry drivers working in the United Kingdom currently is around 100,000, with the firm itself about short of 100 and is likely to affect the Christmas supplies.
Problems in the supply chain
The boss of Tesco, John Allen, stated that the retail company might suffer from some shortage in products along with Christmas supplies, but the general population should try to understand the situation and not further over-dramatize the circumstances and start panic-buying, like amid the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
He further added that due to the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected every part of the world, it has become very easy to develop a major drama out of a very minute or modest amount of crisis.
The continuing shortage in the number of HGV drivers has started to make the retail firms nervous, as they have initiated to plan further ahead regarding the upcoming key trading time period of Christmas and to sort of Christmas supplies in advance.
The government has said that there has been an increasingly resistant food supply chain, and it is currently taking all required measures to resolve the ongoing issue of shortage of lorry drivers.
Although Mr. Walker stated that the reason they have sounded the alarm right now is that that they had to suffer from canceling Christmas last year due to the same issue revolving around a very limited amount of Christmas supplies for the general population of the region.
He added that he would not like to go through the same problem as last year, due to which the firm has started to build their stockpile from the month of September and onwards to tackle the possible issue of shortage of Christmas supplies, for which is a very important time of the year.
The supermarket firm has to transport a very massive amount of goods between the time period starting from now till the Christmas holidays, due to which they require a very strong supply chain management which is vital for all.
The head of Iceland supermarket chain said that the shortage of lorry drivers is making a massive impact on the supply chain of food items on a regular basis, which is leading to a shortage of products on supermarket shelves. The firm is suffering from canceled deliveries for the very first time since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and around 30 to 40 scheduled deliveries per day.
He said that a very simple solution for the persisting issue exists, which is to add all the vehicle drivers for heavy good to be added to the list of skilled workers of the United Kingdom, which would also help in recruiting drivers from overseas, thus resolving the potential complication of shortage of Christmas supplies due to reduced amount of lorry drivers in the region.
The heavy good vehicle drivers have been able to keep the show on the road for the past eighteen months amid the worst conditions of the coronavirus pandemic, and it is similar to that of criminal charges that the authorities are not viewing those individuals as skilled workers.
According to Mr. Walker, the issue of the reduced amount of heavy good vehicle drivers, Brexit might be responsible for the problems in supply chain management. However, he thinks that this issue is a self-inflicted cause rather than an inevitable consequence of the Brexit deal, which is caused directly by the failure of the government to appreciate the important role played by the HGV drivers and the huge amount of work they do on a daily basis for us.
Meanwhile, the chairman of Tesco, Mr. Allan, said that the possible situation shortage of Christmas supplies is very unlikely to aggravate and develop into a massive crisis. It is probable that there might be some amount of product shortage amid the Christmas holidays, but he does not over-dramatize the condition to which it might extend to if that is the case.
Generally, before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the supermarket industry usually started to build their stocks to be ready for the time of Christmas, but due to the current difficulty in the supply chain on top of managing the existing product demand, it is not yet possible to build the capacity of stocks.