As chaos continues on the UK border, Lufthansa is airlifting fresh food to England

As chaos continues on the UK border, Lufthansa is airlifting fresh food to England
a Lufthansa (Pressure) A CNN Business spokesperson said the Boeing 777 cargo plane was carrying 80 tons of perishable cargo from Frankfurt to Doncaster Sheffield Airport in northern England. The airline was working with a freight forwarder to supply food from Egypt and other places to supermarkets like Tesco (TSCDY)And the Sainsbury (JSAIY) Aldi, Lufthansa added.

The move comes as UK supermarket chains and other businesses struggle to cope with the impact of Sunday’s closure of vital shipping arteries between southern England and France triggered by the British government’s warning that a new, more contagious type of Covid-19 was out of service. Take control of London and surrounding areas.

France and the United Kingdom agreed late Tuesday to reopen ferry ports and the Eurotunnel railway, but at least 3,000 trucks remained stranded on Wednesday morning carrying them. Drivers are waiting for negative Covid-19 tests They need to travel. Only two trucks have arrived in Calais from the English port of Dover, a spokesman for the port of Calais told CNN. The French National Road Transport Union said that nothing is moving in Dover.

Leading UK supermarkets Tesco and Sainsbury warned earlier this week that they will start running out of some fresh items like lettuce, salad leaves, broccoli, cauliflower and citrus fruits in a matter of days if the mess in the port is not resolved soon. The industry association responsible for cold distribution also warned that the extended blockade could cause “big problems” for supply chains in January.

A Tesco spokesperson told CNN Business Wednesday that the company has nothing to add to its previous statement.

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A UK government minister said on Wednesday that a backlog of trucks around Dover will take days.

“I hope in heavy vehicles [Heavy Goods Vehicles] British Housing Secretary Robert Jenric, speaking to Sky News, said he did not argue that the delay had caused problems. To the supply chain, but stressed that “there is no material shortage of food.”

Out of fresh goods

The British Retail Consortium, which represents more than 170 of the UK’s major retailers as well as thousands of small businesses, said it is “imperative” that trucks start moving quickly again now that the borders have reopened

“Until the backlog is cleared and supply chains return to normal, we anticipate issues with the availability of some fresh goods,” said Andrew Obie, BRC’s director of food and sustainability.

The Food and Drink Association, which represents the manufacturers, said it could take up to the new year for the problems to be resolved. “This means we will likely see, locally, a decrease in the availability of some fresh vegetables and fruits on the shelves, starting next week. We will also see a potentially significant disruption in the flow of ingredients into the UK,” said Ian Wright, president of the federation. Chief Executive Officer.

The shipping crisis comes at the worst moment for retailers as they try to meet peak demand on holidays and build additional stock in the event that Britain leaves the European Union and the customs union within days without a post-Brexit trade deal.

Other manufacturers were also affected. Toyota (TM) It closed its factories in the UK and France early for the holidays. Honda (Hamad Medical Corporation) It was forced to shut down a factory in the UK for three days earlier this month due to logistical problems.

Lufthansa said it was studying whether additional private cargo flights could be offered over the next few days.

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“We are also checking whether it is possible to make a regular flight,” the spokesman said. “This may be with a cargo ship, but we are also studying whether we can use passenger planes for cargo flights only.”

The German airline took a similar step at the start of the pandemic in March when it launched an “all-Germany air bridge” to ensure the supply of goods across the country. This move triggered the Cold War operation by US and British aircraft to supply West Berlin with food and other necessities during the Soviet blockade of 1948 and 1949.

Rob North, Sharon Braithwaite, and Fanny Bobbil contributed to this article.

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