Will logistic issues cause problems this Christmas?

It is now October, and shops are gearing up for their annual busiest time of year, as people start to think about Christmas shopping, presents, and all the things they would like to order to be able to enjoy over the festive period.

At the moment you can’t escape the news – issues with fuel supply, an absence of lorry and truck drivers etc. With the end of the year closing in, it is of concern about how these problems might impact Christmas deliveries and orders. In this blog post, we’ll explore the problem a little further.

Many well known and respected retailers are not only anticipating such problems, but actively warning about them. If you are ordering goods or products online, whilst a local courier may actually bring the items to your door, these goods have to come from somewhere else before they are handed to your courier for onward delivery. Once you have ordered goods, it is likely that they start their journey in a warehouse and it is lorry and truck drivers who are responsible for transporting your items initially right across the country. If there are limited truck drivers, parcels will be impacted – that unfortunately is the simple reality.

So what exactly are the problems and why?

1) The fuel ‘crisis’ is not helping. Whilst there is not a shortage of fuel, there is a shortage of it at petrol stations to meet demand. This can have impact right down to a local level, because it means that your local door to door courier struggles to be able to deliver, because they can’t fill their vehicles.

2) The price of fuel. Even when fuel is available it has increased in price rapidly in a short space of time. This puts pressure on couriers because they have to meet the rising costs and there is only so long they can absorb them.

3) Not enough lorry drivers. The problem here is that the industry is not attracting younger people into employment as older drivers retire – wages are low, hours are long and people would rather do something else.

4) The immigration system. Since Brexit, there has been a block on new EU nationals working in the UK, but many of the existing ones have simply gone back home too. EU nationals comprised of a sizeable amount of truck drivers before Brexit. Whilst a temporary relaxation of visa rules has been announced, who is going to want to move to the UK for 3 months to have to leave again?

The key is that there needs to be action now. The above ingredients are all factors of a perfect storm, that if left, will arrive in a matter of weeks. There would be no doubt in this situation that parcel deliveries will be affected because as demand naturally accelerates at this time of year, there would not be enough resources to be able to cope with shipping the goods across the country. Fuel problems, prices and any other ancillary issues will simply add to the problems and cause greater complications.

Our advice is to do your Christmas ordering early before any rush starts, to ensure you get delivery without complications. Keep an eye on the news and follow the logistics of this situation very carefully. Unless something is sorted soon that is simply not kicking the can down the road, by when December finally arrives, there could be a lot of disappointed and frustrated people.

Has your delivery or courier let you down and you now need to act fast? Visit our same day courier page, to see how we can help.

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