Shapps echoes Sunak in saying Christmas presents will be available

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps echoed Chancellor Rishi Sunak and said Christmas presents will be available despite delays at UK ports.

“People will be able to get things for Christmas,” he told Sky News. “When I talk to ports they told me it was a loaded image, but if you compare us to a lot of other ports in the world, we have to keep that in proportion, things sink.”

Shapp’s comments echoed those of Chancellor Rishi Sunak when he said he was confident “there will be a fair amount of Christmas presents available for everyone to buy,” urging people not to panic .

“We are doing absolutely everything we can to alleviate some of these challenges,” Sunak told the BBC in Washington DC. “They’re global in nature, so we can’t solve all the problems, but I’m confident. “

Like many other countries in the world, the UK has experienced serious delays in its ports due to the global shipping crisis.

On Tuesday October 10, Danish shipping giant Maersk was forced to redirect its ships to other European ports due to a bottleneck in Felixstowe, one of the UK’s largest ports.

Maersk told the Financial Times his plan was to offload elsewhere before using smaller ships to bring the containers full of Christmas presents to the UK.

According to home delivery company Parcelhero, the next few weeks are expected to be crucial for retailers as shipping lines work around the clock to deliver goods to UK warehouses.

“Maersk is redirecting large container ships, moaning with Christmas-ready cargo, to ports across Europe in the hope that they can eventually reach the UK by road and ferry, or on a flotilla of larger ships. small, ”said Parcelhero’s consumer research manager. David Jinks.

“This means that the British Christmas is based on a transfer of goods to Dunkirk from Europe on smaller ships bound for UK ports. It seems to be the only way to safely bring home many British Christmas presents. “

In addition to the global supply chain and maritime crises, Jinks said, the UK is also suffering from a shortage of heavy truck drivers due to Brexit visa rules.

“We are unlikely to get the 100,000 additional truck drivers that most experts think we need,” he added on Wednesday. “Government issuance of 5,000 more visas for foreign workers will not begin to solve the problem [and] this means that port delays will only intensify as more container ships loaded with Christmas stock attempt to dock. “

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