October 22, 2021, 14:55

    Supermarkets pack fresh food aisles with HP sauce and Lynx in bid to hide empty shelves

    Supermarkets pack fresh food aisles with HP sauce and Lynx in bid to hide empty shelves

    Supermarkets are stacking empty shelves with strange items in response to Christmas shortages.

    Customers have been snapping the odd product choices in supermarkets like Tesco, Co-op and Asda across the country.

    It comes as Brits are warned of a light Christmas ahead after the UK's biggest container port reached capacity and was forced to turn ships away.

    Products are now being delayed and not making it into stores, according to reports.

    The shortages have been noticed by Brits up and down the country, who have been taking photographs of the rogue choices.

    One shared an image of fresh food crates at a Co-Op in Hertfordshire loaded with Quality Street, Celebrations and Dairy Milk instead of vegetables.

    Meanwhile, an Asda in Gloucester stretched out a display of Lynx deodorant to cover most of its toiletry aisle.

    Customers at an Asda in Gloucester took this photograph of a bizarre display of Lynx Africa – which spread across the toiletry aisle


    A Tesco Extra in Cardiff was mocked after a massive sunflower oil display was spotted in the frozen food aisle.

    Staff at another Co-Op branch stuck rows of squeezey bottles of Heinz Salad Cream and HP sauce in refrigerators.

    The rogue items have been appearing in stores as shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk is diverting vessels from their facility in Felixstowe, Suffolk.

    The Danish company warned the problem will continue into the new year.

    The issue has reportedly been caused by a lack of lorry drivers, a spike in imports and Covid restrictions at ports combining in a 'perfect storm'.

    Other supermarkets have left their shelves completely bare


    Lars Mikael Jensen, head of the east-west network at Maersk, said containers are stacking up in Felixstowe because there are not enough drivers to 'get boxes out'.

    Most imported toys come through the port, raising fears there will be shortages over Christmas, The Times reports.

    And today Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak did little to reassure customers when discussing shortages – confessing that the government "can't fix every single problem".

    As fears grow of kids waking up on Christmas Day to empty stockings, the Chancellor said the Government were "do absolutely everything we can" to solve the British port issues.

    Fears are growing of low levels of products for Christmas

    Diverted ships are being unloaded at ports elsewhere, including Rotterdam, Antwerp and Bremerhaven, and are then transferred to smaller vessels to be transported to the UK.

    The process is reportedly causing delays of up to a week.

    Mr Jensen previously told The Guardian: "There is a shortage of truckers in the UK. Normally after four to five days the containers are out of the terminal and into a warehouse in Birmingham or wherever before coming back empty.

    “The trouble is that now we don’t have the same speed of flow of boxes moving in and out. With fewer truckers on average it takes longer to get boxes out of the terminal, so they are left standing."

    He also told The Times: "We had to stop operations on a ship because there was nowhere to discharge the containers."

    Felixstowe is among the three worst affected ports in the world, Mr Jensen said.

    One shipping boss told The Times: "I don't want to sound like a Grinch but there are going to be gaps on shelves this Christmas."

    Mike Bowden, procurement manager at the shipping group Cory Brothers, added the port is so full of containers that new ones cannot be unloaded – and empty ones cannot be put back on ships.

    The Department of Transport told The Times that the issue was not 'unique to the UK', adding that ports around the world are battling container capacity and supply chain issues.

    Boris Johnson has hired former Tesco boss Sir Dave Lewis to help solve the crisis.

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    Sourse: mirror.co.uk

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