Wine company warns of Christmas shortages due to shortage of truck drivers


A wine company has warned that a shortage of truck drivers could push the price of wine up ahead of the holiday season.

The director of Accolade Wines – whose brands include Hardys, Stowells and Echo Falls – has warned he has been hit by staff shortages in many areas, especially among suppliers, distributors and delivery.

Many businesses across the UK are facing a shortage of truck drivers after Brexit, with the Road Haulage Association estimating that around 100,000 people will be missing.

If the crisis continues, Accolade CEO Robert Foye warned, there could be empty wine shelves in supermarkets in the coming months.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Foye said: “These shortages, if they continue, could certainly have an impact on Christmas. We are trying to get ahead, but it depends on the situation of the whole. the transport and trucking industry in the United Kingdom. ‘

The situation could also see the price of wine go up, the only way to mitigate the risk is to “work very closely with the trucking and transportation suppliers, and the customers.”

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Mr Foye said the Covid pandemic had also played a role in the staff shortage as new groups of employees waited to be trained, adding that he estimated it would take the UK two years to return to pre-pandemic levels.

He said: ‘In the UK you are 100% open, but because of the effect of Covid, because people’s habits have changed and some outlets have closed, you are not really only 65% ​​of the level of 2019 levels.

“We think it will take two years to get back to 90-95% in the UK.”

The sector is far from the only one affected by the shortage of truck drivers, with the rollout of the NHS winter flu vaccine set to be delayed by two weeks.

Wetherspoons is grappling with a beer shortage, while Coca Cola faces supply issues with its canned drinks.

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