The world’s largest shipping company has announced that it will temporarily stop shipping its large container ships in its fleet to the English port of Felixstowe because of the traffic jam. Instead, the Danish company’s crushing ships are expected to dock at other ports in Europe, and from there the containers will move to the UK in smaller ships. The crushing move could further exacerbate the shortage of consumer goods and goods in the UK.
100,000 drivers missing and Christmas stress
The main reason for the congestion created at the port is the shortage of truck drivers who will transport the containers to their destinations across the UK. One of the directors of the Mask said in an interview with the Financial Times that this shortage means that “it takes longer to move full containers from the ports,” which creates a space problem. “We had to stop unloading a container ship because there was no place to put them,” he said.
Port authorities have admitted in the past day that the kingdom’s severe shortage of truck drivers is a ‘contributing factor’ to the traffic jam at the port, which accounts for about a third of Britain’s container imports a year. According to the port announcement, the rate of container removal now stands at an average of ten days for a full container, instead of 4.5 days in the past.
The shortage of truck drivers in the kingdom stands at about 100,000 workers, according to industry estimates in the UK. It stems from the fact that it is not possible to bring auxiliary drivers at short notice from other European countries because of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, but also because of the Corona plague that is holding back drivers’ training.
The shortage led to a fuel shortage at stations across the country, which was further exacerbated by drivers storming the stations, and a shortage of goods on supermarket shelves.
Now, ahead of Christmas, the most significant shopping season of the year, fears of a shortage of groceries, goods and products are leading many UK businesses to pre.order and store them until December – an activity that further increases port congestion immediately.
Delays and congestion have also been recorded in other ports around the world in recent months, but according to the same senior official at the shipping company Marsek, the “traffic jam” at Filixto is one of the most significant.
“The pre.Christmas peak, along with the lack of transport, congested land terminals, disrupted maritime transport schedules and the effects of the epidemic have combined to create a container load in the port,” the port said in a statement.
The commodity crisis threatens the image of the government
The British government, which is threatening its image crisis after it managed to implement the Brexit agreement for retirement from the union, said it expects the situation at the port to improve.
“It’s clear to everyone that there is a problem, especially in the area of transport drivers, but not just here in the UK,” said Cabinet member Oliver Dawden. “This is a problem that exists throughout Europe, Poland, the United States and even China.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has approved thousands of ad hoc work visas for drivers and auxiliary drivers for land transport, and about 200 soldiers also enlisted last week to alleviate the fuel shortages at gas stations using military trucks and driving civilian trucks.
Daoudan added that the government is trying to quickly train 5,000 more drivers, and it is expected to soften the strict rules associated with their professional training, in order to provide more drivers for the field.
Sources told the British Guardian that they do not expect congestion relief due to many orders that are due to arrive in the UK by Christmas, and also in the two months that follow – before the industry in China goes on holiday for the Chinese New Year.
The media are wondering what will happen to the turkeys
The British media are busy speculating about Christmas, and if there is a shortage of turkeys – a traditional dish in the country at this time. The fear is, among other things, from buyers’ onslaught on certain products, as has happened in recent weeks around fuel at stations, which will lead to exceptional demand and empty shelves.
At the same time, there are reports that due to a shortage of working hands, especially in seasonal and relatively cheap labor from Eastern Europe (following the legal changes brought about by the Brexit), British farmers are giving up vegetable and fruit picking, which could lead to further price increases and supermarket shortages.
Johnson said last week that Britain needed to “get rid” of dependence on cheap labor, and that the British economy needed to go through an “adjustment process” so that transport and agriculture workers would also receive fair wages and good conditions, and contribute to increased productivity in the UK.