The UK’s biggest port operator has warned that the global supply chain crisis could potentially last until 2023, with the economic stimulus seen in the last year-and-a-half putting strain all over the world, resulting in shipping container shortages and price rises for the moving of goods.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Henrik Pedersen – chief executive of the Associated British Ports – explained that it takes “a very long time” to turn around congestion at container ports and a range of countries are also experiencing truck driver shortages, causing issues in the shipping and road legs, City AM reports.
Figures from the Road Haulage Association now show that there is a shortage of over 100,000 qualified HGV drivers in the UK, being driven by the pandemic but also by Brexit, with many drivers who returned to their home countries or who decided to find work elsewhere now unable to come back because UK is no longer part of the EU single market.
Because of this driver shortage, shipping giant Maersk was recently forced to divert ships away from Felixstowe to European ports instead, adding even more delays to shipments.
Smaller UK ports, however, are benefiting from the supply chain disruption, it would seem. Chief executive of Peel Ports Mark Whitworth recently explained to Reuters that smaller 1,500 TEU container ships from China have been calling at Liverpool over the last few months to accelerate delivery times.
He went on to say that Liverpool is expecting to see volumes of one million TEUs for the first time this year, up from the 750,000 it handled in 2020.
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