ParcelHero is the UK’s leading parcel delivery company and said the delays were the results of the shuttering of many non-essential stores because of the new restrictions. The closure of the French border after the discovery of the new strain of coronavirus means logistics and parcel networks are facing a perfect storm in the run-up to Christmas. Online shoppers have been told not to rely on last order dates and that presents may arrive late.
The new coronavirus variant could have a devastating effect on Christmas presents reaching homes.
ParcelHero said the 48-hour closure of French ports means that many UK-bound goods and food deliveries will be delayed.
The closure of “non-essential” stores at this peak shopping time has seen multitudes shop online.
This huge glut of online orders combined with the disruption from Tier 4 will mean Christmas presents not reaching thousands of families.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT, said: “We all have to wake up and smell the eggnog.
“There is now unprecedented pressure on supply chains and deliveries.
“Everyone must brace themselves for items not arriving in time for the Big Day.
“Retailers need to talk to their supply chain managers and delivery partners and get real about what can still be achieved.
READ MORE: ‘We understand each other’ Boris hints at quick border solution
“The number of trucks arriving in the UK from the EU has been slashed as businesses and drivers could not risk their trucks being caught in huge delays returning to France.
“France is now putting protocols in place to get goods moving again, but given the critical timing, the damage has already been done.”
The ParcelHero Head of Consumer Research said that most of his companies deliveries are via airfreight, so will not be disrupted by the closure of sea routes.
He said: “International parcels mostly travel by airfreight and will be less impacted by the closure of EU ports, so most ParcelHero services are unaffected, but we have to be realistic about how many goods are arriving in the UK now as a whole – especially larger items arriving by container lorries.
“This crisis is compounded by the unexpected shuttering of thousands of High Street stores just days before Christmas because of emergency Tier 4 measures.
“Many thousands of shoppers have been forced into unplanned, last-minute online shopping, leading to a surge in orders in the last few days before Christmas.
“Not only retailers need to reassess the situation.
“We all need to get realistic about how much ordering we can still achieve before the 25th.
“Even before Christmas peak began, most couriers and retailers were dealing with 50 percent more home deliveries because of the impact of Covid-19.
“Additionally, over the last fortnight, British ports had become increasingly backed-up because of Brexit and Covid, causing long delays as they attempted to unload everything from Lego and scooters to Ikea furniture.”