The UK and other countries are suffering with congestion in ports and disturbances in supply chains that are causing significant delays on stock and threatening Christmas deadlines
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Ikea says it expects global supply issues to last for at least another year, as tens of thousands of containers continue to build up at ports around the UK.
Chief executive Jesper Brodin said there is still significant congestion at ports, causing delays on getting items to stores.
The chain previously warned around 1,000 of its product lines were experiencing delays.
Jon Abrahamsson Ring, boss of Ikea owner Inter Ikea, said the company “foresees that the availability and raw materials challenge will continue for the better part, if not the whole, of [the financial year to the end of August]”.
Speaking to the Financial Times, he said: “This is here for a longer period than we thought of at the beginning of the crisis.”
Ikea has purchased additional shipping containers and charter vessels to address product shortages, but recent congestion in Felixstowe means many businesses are facing further delays and a Christmas backlog.
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The Swedish flatpack furniture giant said it was experiencing “low availability in some ranges, including mattresses” at all 22 stores.
It came as UK businesses warned they were struggling with a shortfall of between 90,000 and 100,000 lorry drivers.
“Going forward, we’re constantly looking for more opportunities to secure product availability for our customers and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause,” an Ikea spokesman previously said.
The Harry Potter store, The Entertainer and major supermarkets have all warned they have struggled to fill shelves in recent weeks.
Haulage companies say many European drivers have decided not to return after the Brexit transition was completed.
There is also a huge backlog in HGV driver tests, again because of the pandemic.
In response to the crisis, the government is writing to nearly one million drivers who hold a HGV licence to encourage them to return to the industry, however just a few dozen from Europe have applied so far.
Some say the working conditions are just not good enough.
Some employers have increased their pay to win back staff – and Ministry of Defence examiners have been brought in to increase the number of HGV driving tests.
There will be free intensive ‘boot camps’ to train 5,000 people to become HGV drivers, with another 1,000 to be trained through courses funded by the adult education budget.
The government has also slightly relaxed the Drivers’ Hours rules, which means drivers will be able to increase their daily driving limit from nine hours to 11 hours twice a week.
However drivers say this was one of the main reasons for quitting the industry in the first place.