Britain urged to increase salt supplies
Snow costs economy estimated £1.35 billion
Staff shortages to hit logistics sector
Retailers' smaller stock orders cause supply problems
Electrical goods stocks low for Christmas
December 2010 | Angeline Albert
of fuel, food and other basic supplies caused by bad weather can be prevented
with stronger supply chain contingency plans, professional groups have said.
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) said its members are
reporting appalling road conditions in Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Cumbria and the
Grampian regions, which is stopping fuel and basic goods getting to petrol
stations and shops.
Scott-Smith, RHA’s area manager for London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex said better
supply chain planning by retailers in response to snow forecasts could alleviate
shortages in the future.
transport sector has been hit severely again by snow. Two weeks ago, this cold
wintry spell was predicted. Supermarkets and garages should stockpile and over-subscribe
to mitigate for such a snow warning,” he said.
said a large petrol distribution centre in Hamble, Southampton, has been shut down
because its staff could not get there.
added: “The lack of staff meant not enough people to load goods onto vehicles.
Fuel and food deliveries have been seriously affected. We’ve had reports of
farmers having to tip milk down drains because the milk tankers can’t get down
country lanes. The cows have to be milked regardless but if farmers exceed
their milk storage capacity and the tanker doesn’t arrive there’s no choice.”
separate warning, CIPS CEO David Noble, said yet more winter
weather disruption was proof enough that the UK needs tougher supply chain
contingency plans. “Although many local councils are better prepared than last
year, budgets are stretched and it shows. It’s also distressing that shortages
of basic supplies such as food and fuel are on the agenda again. More needs to
be done to ensure that supply chains are robust and flexible enough to cope
with changes in demand, and ensure people can get on with their day-to-day
lives,” he said.
authorities and businesses must take the initiative and work more
collaboratively to guarantee stocks of essential supplies, when transportation inevitably
becomes more difficult. The burden of keeping larger stocks could be shared and
overall costs can be kept down by buying in bulk.”