Posted on December 15, 2020
Foreign Secretary says Brexit is not behind delays despite claims businesses are stockpiling ahead of a potential no-deal
Shipping companies are refusing to collect empty containers or exports after dropping off goods in the UK because they do not want to miss slots at other ports such as Rotterdam, Antwerp or Hamburg.
The action is making the logjams at ports such as Felixstowe and Southampton even worse, experts claim.
Eleanor Hadland, ports analyst at maritime consultancy Drewry, referred to the actions of freight ship operators as a “cut and run” tactic that puts UK sites in a “downward cycle”.
She said: “They’re leaving cargo in the yard, so the yard gets even busier, which slows down deliveries at the gate, which slows down the next ship, so that ship cuts and runs and leaves more cargo in the yard.”
Get to the shops
Following a report by i on Thursday revealing fears over children receiving their Christmas present on time, Derek Crookes, of the Toy Retailers Association, advised Christmas shoppers to go to shops “and try and get any products that they want as they may well run out”.
There are also fears for white goods, consumer electricals, food and building supplies running short because of the delays at ports.
Ms Hadland said there had been a “massive upswing in imports” following the end of the first coronavirus lockdown due to pent-up demand and stockpiling by importers concerned about the impact of a second wave of the virus and the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.