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Weather is freezing up supply and delivery chains

By: Laura Nineham
21 December 2010

The snow has caused the retail supply chain pipeline to freeze, according to IMRG's deliver director Andrew Starkey.

This has caused problems from the distribution centre to delivery level, reports Retail Gazette. This means internet retailers have struggled to meet the demand of UK customers who ordered gifts online and were expecting the gifts to be delivered in time for Christmas.

"December 2010 remains on track to be the biggest online shopping month ever in the UK with a predicted £6.4bn spent by online consumers, and more than a quarter of a billion parcels successfully delivered," said James Roper, CEO of IMRG.

Driving conditions have been treacherous for those in driving jobs, but many logistics companies and retailers have been striving to meet as many deliveries as they possibly can.

However, because many deliveries aren't successful, it's stalling the whole supply and delivery chain.

Mr Starkey explained: "If deliveries can't be made because of the weather, the depots fill up and when they can't take anymore, parcels have to be kept on the trailers that brought them across the country. This leaves all the delivery companies short of capacity to collect and move new orders."

He added: "The result is that the whole pipeline starts to seize up with a knock-on effect to parts of the country that otherwise don't seem to have been hit too badly by the weather. It's understandable that shoppers in these areas will find this frustrating, but without vehicles available in the right places to move parcels, they can't simply be delivered."

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