Christmas gifts bound for UK may not make it in time

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Maersk container vessels may divert from UK
Maersk container vessels may divert from UK Credit: Pixabay

CHRISTMAS gifts bound for UK may not make it in time due to delivery problems caused by the ongoing shortage of delivery drivers.

Britain’s largest container port based at Felixstowe in Suffolk which handles more than 35 per cent of all incoming containers simply can’t deal with the volume arriving as there are insufficient HGV drivers available to deliver the containers around the country.

So worried is the Labour Party about the shortage of drivers, leader Sir Keir Starmer who visited an HGV training centre in Greengate, Manchester was given the chance to get behind the wheel of a lorry with an instructor but within minutes of trying to reverse the vehicle, he struck a bollard and heard the words “You’d have failed your test.”

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The turn around time for a container at Felixstowe has jumped from an average of four days to nearer nine and there is a steadily growing backlog of empty containers which are taking up room normally used for full containers.

The Danish Maersk Shipping Line is the largest in the world with some 705 container ships and it has now admitted that it will be diverting a number of its largest ships to other European ports where containers may be reloaded onto smaller vessels and dispatch to other UK ports but this is not guaranteed.

Many British companies have been trying to stock up with toys and electronics in advance of Christmas but unless something can be done to unblock the jam, there may be a large number of disappointed faces around the Christmas tree on December 25.


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