McDonald’s ran out of milkshakes, Nando’s had to close some of its restaurants due to a lack of chicken and Halfords has warned it is short of bikes. Meanwhile, at a key time for harvests, crops are rotting in the fields. It all points to a crisis in Britain’s supply chains that analysts say is the most severe since the 1970s.
The Guardian business reporter Joanna Partridge tells Rachel Humphreys that the problem is a perfect storm of pandemic disruption, component shortages from China and labour shortages exacerbated by Brexit.
One of the industries hardest hit is road haulage where an acute shortage of qualified HGV drivers means planned shipments are not being fulfilled. Steve Bowles runs Roy Bowles Transport in Berkshire. He says the shortage of drivers is causing a massive headache for his business and his clients. He, like many in his industry, is calling on the government to relax post-Brexit visa restrictions on EU drivers.
Meanwhile, more and more companies are issuing stock warnings and there are fears of a further squeeze on already stretched supply lines in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
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