SUPPLY chain disruptions has caused delays in deliveries, shortages on shelves, and an increase in prices over recent months.

Ikea and BP are among some of the giant companies to have reported problems.

While there are problems at a number of petrol stations due to a lack of deliveries.

The Transport Secretary has tried to dissuade drivers from panic buying petrol, after BP was forced to close down a handful of its forecourts.

Grant Shapps said on Friday that motorists should “carry on as normal”.

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“The advice would be to carry on as normal, and that is what BP is saying as well,” he told Sky News.

While addressing potential staff shortages, a Government spokesman said: “The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain, which has coped well in responding to unprecedented challenges.

“This year we expanded the Seasonal Workers Pilot to 30,000 visas for workers to come to the UK for up to six months.

“We continue to work closely with industry to understand labour demand and supply, including both permanent and seasonal workforce requirements.

“However, we want to see employers make long term investments in the UK domestic workforce instead of relying on labour from abroad and our Plan for Jobs is helping people across the country retrain, build new skills and get back into work.”

Here are some of the products that have been affected:


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On Friday, BP said that around 20 of its 1,200 petrol forecourts were closed due to a lack of available fuel, with between 50 and 100 sites affected by the loss of at least one grade of fuel.

A “small number” of Tesco refilling stations have also been impacted, said Esso owner ExxonMobil, which runs the sites.

He said: “As of last night, five petrol stations on the BP network out of 12 or 13 hundred were affected.

“I’m meeting this morning with Tesco and I’m sure they’ll give me the update for themselves.

“None of the other retailers said they had any closures.”

He added: “The others, Asda, Morrisons and other supermarkets, are saying they have no problems, as have other petrol companies.”

To the BBC’s Today programme Mr Shapps promised he would do what is needed to ensure that petrol gets to drivers.

“I’ll move heaven and Earth to do anything that’s required to make sure that lorries carry on moving our goods and services and petrol around the country,” he said.

He denied that Brexit was the culprit in the UK’s recent shortage of lorry drivers, arguing that the split from the European Union has helped the Government react.


Shoppers could face rising bills as meat manufacturers face sharp cost rises due to the soaring price of CO2, industry sources have said.

Meat and poultry supplies faced major disruption due to a shortage of CO2 caused by two sites in the north of England halting production last week.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary George Eustice said that companies will have to accept a major hike in CO2 rates, which could increase fivefold from £200 a tonne to £1,000.

He stressed that the surge in prices would not be a “major impact on food prices” for consumers due to its small proportion of overall costs.

However, an executive at a major meat supplier told the PA news agency that his firm could face an extra £1 million in costs every month due to the jump in prices.

He added that this is likely to mean that prices will increase for customers.

Soft drinks

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The British Soft Drinks Association has warned manufacturers have “only a few days” of CO2 left to produce fizzy drinks. It said that, due to Brexit restrictions, producers cannot import supplies of CO2 from the EU.

"Relying on European supply is not feasible given the problems associated with Brexit and the fact that CO2 production on the continent is also disrupted," the organisation stated.

AG Barr, which makes Irn-Bru, Rubicon and Tizer, has warned of the potential impact to their supplies.

The company said it currently has reasonable access to gas as it has invested in CO2 storage over the years – but is concerned about what comes next.


Ikea has said it is struggling to meet high demand for some of its products, especially mattresses, as Britons buy new furniture for the homes they spent much more time in during lockdown.

The furniture giant said it had been hit by issues in its supply chain, caused by a series of simultaneous challenges.

“Like many retailers, we are experiencing ongoing challenges with our supply chains due to Covid-19 and labour shortages, with transport, raw materials and sourcing all impacted,” the company said.

“In addition, we are seeing higher customer demand as more people are spending more time at home.”

It added: “As a result, we are experiencing low availability in some of our ranges, including mattresses.

“We hope this will reduce as the situation improves in the coming weeks and months.

“Going forward, we’re constantly looking for more opportunities to secure product availability for our customers and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”


Pub chain JD Wetherspoon apologised to customers after its beer supplies became a casualty of the UK’s supply chain crunch earlier this month.

The hospitality giant confirmed that it has seen supplies of Carling and Coors beer hit by the disruption, with some pubs not receiving deliveries.

Molson Coors, the brewer for both brands, said it has been “hit by the HGV driver shortage”, affecting its supply to some UK pubs.

Lorry driver and factory staff shortages attributed to Brexit employment rules and the pandemic also impacted supplies at firms including McDonald’s, Nando’s and KFC recently.

Christmas Trees

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Consumers have been warned of a potential shortage of Christmas trees and higher prices this year in the latest fallout from the labour and supply chain difficulties facing the UK.

Around one tenth of the real Christmas trees sold in the UK are imported, but post-Brexit regulations and a stretched labour market could result in shortages and higher demand for locally grown trees, retailers have said.

Mark Rofe, who owns, said: “We’ve spoken to our UK growers and they are all facing the same challenges.

“They are seeing an increase in demand for their product, especially from clients who would usually import their trees from Europe, but are keen to avoid any red tape that could increase costs or cause delays for what is of course a highly seasonal and time-sensitive business.”

Meanwhile, the price of raw materials including wood for pallets, labour, fertiliser, labels and transport has soared, leading to rising wholesale prices.