The British government said, on Wednesday, that Christmas in the UK has not been canceled, people should normally shop for Christmas, and that there will be no shortage of gifts, after ships carrying toys and electrical goods were diverted from the country’s largest port because they It was full.
Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, has diverted some ships from the port of Felixstowe in eastern England because a shortage of truck drivers means there is no place to stack containers.
“I’m sure people will be able to get their toys for Christmas,” Conservative leader Oliver Dowden told Sky, adding that Christmas presents will be delivered this year.
No trucks, no space
Dowden, a cabinet minister without portfolio, said port problems were being resolved, and that supply chain problems facing the world’s fifth-largest economy were global, such as a shortage of truck drivers and congestion at ports.
“The situation is getting better,” Dowden said, referring to Felixstowe, which handles 36% of the country’s container shipments. When asked if people should start shopping now for Christmas, he replied, “I would say shopping as they usually do.”
Dowden said Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is on vacation abroad, is deeply involved in domestic and international affairs. “He’s very committed to the job.”
Britain’s economy is expected to grow 6.8% this year, the highest rate among the Group of Seven major economies, even though supply chain turmoil and inflationary pressures are limiting the global economy, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Britain’s economy returned to growth in August, after contracting for the first time in six months in July, but its exit from the European Union compounded some of the problems by curbing immigration.
Britain lacks around 100,000 truck drivers, leading to queues to refuel at gas stations and worries about food getting to supermarkets, and shortages of butchers and warehouse feeders are also a cause for concern.
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“Felixeto is currently one of the affected ports. In addition to the impact of the pandemic, the main factors behind this situation are high consumer demand and a shortage of truck drivers for ground distribution,” Maersk said.
He said Maersk was diverting some ships “to alternative continental ports” to regulate the flow of shipments and reduce the impact on British supply chains and consumers before Christmas.
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