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No People, No Petrol, No Party!

By Sam Gray

After a very successful day at The Lunch Festival & Casual Dining Show with the team yesterday meeting clients old & new - it felt like a bit of normality had resumed in the world of Consumer Food & Drink - however this didn't last long! 

Currently sat in the office, looking outside the window, our local Tesco Petrol Forecourt has descended into nothing short of chaos - beeping horns, flashing lights, people shouting at one another and a queue as long as the Great Wall of China down the High Street. Panic buying has started again - but this time for petrol (which means I may be driving home on fairy dust today). 

Although the Transport Secretary is urging no one to panic, insisting everyone should carry on as normal, it's hard not to panic when the front page of every single newspaper this morning is telling us all there is no petrol (but not to panic!).

To be honest I am not surprised this is happening. With a shortage of nearly 100,000 lorry drivers - not only are we going to see a shortage on the shelves for meat as well as other products (also impacted by the Global Gas Shortage) but also a shortage of petrol. This isn't due to a lack of petrol but a lack of drivers to deliver it. 

Due to Brexit (another touchy subject for me) an estimated 20,000 European drivers have left the UK and also some European Hauliers are said to have decided the extra red tape isn't worth the hassle, so they have concentrated on working in the EU. However, Brexit is not solely to blame, a backlog of applications / tests at the DVLA caused by Covid restrictions has also had a big impact. 

So, grab your meat (not a euphemism) and juice (for your car) and buckle in - this is going to be a bumpy ride! 

What was once a quiet storm in the supply chain has escalated into a fully-fledged hurricane. The low-level shortage of HGV drivers that has long troubled haulage and logistics professionals is now sizeable, acute, and urgent. It’s plaguing businesses of all shapes and sizes and leaving food shelves empty across the country.

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