Don't panic buy for Christmas, Britain says after port chaos

Sarah Young and Guy Faulconbridge, Reuters

Posted at Oct 13 2021 04:42 PM

Shoppers walk past Christmas decorations in London, Britain December 3, 2016. Neil Hall, Reuters/File Photo
Shoppers walk past Christmas decorations in London, Britain December 3, 2016. Neil Hall, Reuters/File Photo


LONDON - Britain said on Wednesday that people should buy normally for Christmas and that there would be no shortage of gifts after shipping containers carrying toys and electrical goods were diverted from the country's biggest port because it was full.

Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, has diverted some vessels away from Felixstowe port in eastern England because there is nowhere left to stack containers at the port amid an acute shortage of truck drivers.

"I'm confident that people will be able to get their toys for Christmas," Conservative Party Chairman Oliver Dowden told Sky when asked about problems at Felixstowe port. He said he was sure Christmas gifts would be delivered this year.

Dowden, who is a cabinet minister without a portfolio in the Cabinet Office, said the situation was improving at the port and that the issues facing the world's fifth largest economy were global - such as a shortage of truckers and port congestion.

"The situation is improving," Dowden said of the situation at Felixstowe, which handles 36 percent of the country’s containerized freight.

When asked whether or not people should start to buy now for Christmas, he said: "I would say just buy as you do normally." 

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