Retail groups have warned the government that it will only take a few days to save Christmas from the “serious turmoil” caused by the ongoing shortage of HGV drivers.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said on Friday that suspension of preparations for the festival was “unavoidable” unless progress was made in the next 10 days.
Also on Friday, BP, Esso and Tesco’s petrol forecourt were affected by the challenge of getting petrol deliveries in a panic buying and some chaotic scene.
Andrew Opie, Director of Food and Sustainability at BRC, said:
“Without them, we cannot move goods from farms to warehouses to stores.
“Currently, the UK is facing a shortage of about 90,000 HGV drivers, and it is the consumers who ultimately suffer the consequences.
“Unless a solution is found within the next 10 days, it is inevitable that there will be a great deal of confusion for Christmas.”
Secretary of Transportation Grant Shapps denied Brexit blaming Britain’s recent shortage of truck drivers, arguing that the government could actually respond more quickly.
He states: “In other EU countries like Poland and Germany, not only is there a huge shortage that is clearly unrelated to Brexit, but in fact Brexit has allowed us to change and change the law. How our driver test works in a way I couldn’t if we were still in the EU.
“Therefore, Brexit actually offers some of the solutions that increase the slots available for HGV (material handling vehicle) testing, much more than before the pandemic, and twice as many tests available. Yes, most of it belongs to us. We could only do that because we are no longer in the EU. “
BP said about 20 of the 1,200 petrol vestibules were closed and at least one grade of fuel was lost at 50 to 100 sites due to a lack of available fuel.
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ExxonMobil, the owner of Esso, said “a few” Tesco replenishment stations were also affected.
Secretary of Transportation Grant Shapps tried to discourage drivers from panicking, saying that drivers should “continue as usual.”
In the BBC Today’s program, he said: “I move heaven and earth to do whatever it takes for a truck to keep our goods, services and petrol moving across the country.”
At a meeting a week ago, BP reportedly told the government that the company was having a hard time fueling the precursors.
According to a report from ITV News, the head of the UK retailer Hanna Hofer described the situation as “bad, very bad.”
She said the BP had “two-thirds of the normal vestibular inventory level needed for smooth operation,” she added, adding that the level was “declining rapidly.”
On Thursday, Road Transport Association industry group Rod Mackenzie said the government had allowed the driver shortage to “gradually worsen” in recent months.
“There is a shortage of 100,000 (drivers),” he told the BBC Newsnight.
“Everything we get in the UK, whether it’s fuel, food, clothing, whatever, when we think it’s behind the trucks, at some point, the driver who drives those trucks. If there isn’t, the truck isn’t moving, and we don’t have ours. “
He added: “I don’t think we’re talking about having no fuel or food at all. People shouldn’t buy up food or fuel.
“This is about out of stock, about shortages, about disruption of the normal supply chain.”
“Only a few days left to avoid Christmas shortages,” retailers warn that HGV driver shortages will continue
Source link “Only a few days left to avoid Christmas shortages,” retailers warn that HGV driver shortages will continue