Iceland and Tesco warn of Christmas shortages from HGV driver crisis – business live | Business

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“We are very short of drivers, it’s a combination of many EU drivers having decided to go home and also the ageing age-profile.

“I think certainly Brexit has been a contributor to that but also improving economies, higher wages in some of the countries that they’ve come from historically, have also led to that flow.

“If we’re looking at the short-term, the run up to Christmas, the best and most straightforward solution would be to allow UK industry to bring in skilled drivers from elsewhere.

“Normally the supermarket industry would start building stocks from now in readiness for Christmas. Longer-life products first, things like Christmas puddings and so on, shorter-life products, like fresh turkeys, very late in the day.

“At the moment we’re running very hard just to keep on top of the existing demand and there isn’t the capacity to build stocks that we’d like to see.

“So in that sense I think there may be some shortages at Christmas. But again I wouldn’t want to over-dramatise the extent to which that would be the case, I think it’s very easy to make a drama out of a modest crisis.”

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