Supply and delivery challenges – what can be done?

Supply & Delivery Challenges

With Step 4 of the ‘Roadmap out of Lockdown’ being delayed by the UK Government, the foodservice sector is still trying to remobilise after a challenging 15 months.

Elements of the supply chain have been under extreme pressure as a result of the pandemic, the knock on effect of issues resulting from multiple lock downs, and the subsequent impact of the current re-opening, even with the postponed further easing of restrictions as announced on 14 June 2021.

The challenges currently facing deliveries and the supply chain, nationwide, are not down to an isolated factor, but rather a culmination of factors including:

  • The re-opening of hospitality post lock down with an unprecedented surge in demand
  • Recent good weather resulting in further heightened demand
  • Extreme driver shortages, UK-wide…


The Grocer calls the latter “catastrophic”…

Suggestions and proposals are being made to the Government, in an attempt to alleviate the driver shortages, in particular. These suggestions even include military intervention:

We continue to provide updates and notice of delivery changes or stock shortages, to clients, as soon as we are notified by suppliers, and are working closely with suppliers, understanding these are macro factors beyond their control, and that they are working to resolve and implement solutions as quickly as possible.  

Some suppliers are making other adjustments, such as restricting the availability of a significant number of ambient and non-food split product lines. This will help to speed up picking times and help vehicle dispatch times, thus helping to meet delivery expectations.

The recommendation, to reduce the risk of inconvenience, is that orders are placed with as much advanced notice as possible – a minimum of day 1 for day 3 ordering wherever feasible, for the time being. These longer lead times will reduce disappointment and help ensure orders are booked before any temporary cut offs are imposed by suppliers.

This situation is not limited to any one supplier. It is being felt across the industry and across the UK. It is something the entire foodservice and, indeed, transport industry, is having to face together at present.

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