Prepare for ports chaos, fears of fresh supply chain crisis

Prepare for ports chaos, fears of fresh supply chain crisis. CC/ Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0

British ports are bracing for supply chain chaos as an overabundance of goods arriving from China risks coinciding with lengthy rail strikes

A flood of imports is expected in around six weeks as factories around the industrial hub of Shanghai begin to reopen after long Covid lockdowns, according to the Daily Mail.

Major ports like Southampton and London Gatewaywill be receiving containers full of goods just as Britain goes through its biggest rail strike for decades.

Mainly consumer electronics, toys, furniture and clothes, which accounts for nearly a third of goods arriving in the UK, are carried to their final destination by rail.

Strikes aimed at shutting down Britain’s railways this summer could go on for a ‘very, very long time’,  Mick Lynch, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union has said.

“Supply chains remain particularly vulnerable due to staff shortages and Covid-related disruption”, confirmed Simon Heaney, a supply chain researcher at Drewry, a maritime consultancy.

“China going into lockdown put a major squeeze on factory production in Shanghai and its hinterland, so the risk is now the lockdowns are looking like they’re over and factories are pumping out goods. There’s going to be a deluge of orders coming out of Shanghai and landing all at the same time in ports around the world.”

“The fear is that ports are already under strain and to get this sudden deluge could throw back any kind of recovery we will see in the supply chain.”

“But what we don’t know yet is how quickly production will get going again in Shanghai.”

“And ports such as Rotterdam don’t think they’ll be a problem. We just don’t know at the moment.”

Because of inflation, we are also seeing a waning of demand for containerised goods, which may reduce the chance of this becoming a serious problem.”

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Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.