Logistical nightmare – French freight ban could affect fresh produce getting to NI
France has imposed a 48-hour freight ban on UK lorries – and Sainsbury’s has warned of the likelihood of fresh produce shortages this Christmas. Food industry leaders are also warning that the prolonged border closure could cause supply difficulties. John Perry, managing director of international supply chain and logistics consultancy SCALA, a leading provider of management services for the supply chain and logistics sector said “While the immediate problem on the agenda is trucks now not being able to get out of the UK, the knock-on effect of this worrying development is that companies will now also be reluctant to send drivers to the UK for fear they will get stuck here.
“This is likely to mean a loss of inbound goods, affecting supply to manufacturers and, subsequently, supermarket shelves. If consumers should react to this news by panic-buying as a safeguard against COVID disruption, we could see a return to the empty shelves that characterised March and April this year.
“If drivers are less willing to come to the UK, this will mean major disruption for businesses and the public alike in the short term – with shortages of fresh produce having already been warned by Sainsbury’s just this morning.
“Simply enough, given that we are now staring down the barrel of yet another spike of COVID-19 infections, subsequent lockdowns and a No Deal Brexit that looks more damaging by the day, this latest blow to supply chain operations really could not have come at a worse time.”