Hauliers say Northern Ireland’s supply chain could collapse within days

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Hauliers say Northern Ireland’s supply chain could collapse within days

In a letter sent to the UK Government’s cabinet office, the Road Haulage Association has said that Northern Ireland’s supply chain could totally collapse in just a few days from now.

On Saturday, the 11-page document was seen by Reuters and News Letter, who have both now published key extracts from it.

The RHA’s letter reportedly states that Northern Ireland’s supply chain wll totally collapse „within a matter of a week” if ministers fail to take urgent action.

The problems are, of course, a consequence of the sudden change in the trading relationship between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

As we reported last week, trucks have been held up at ports in Great Britain, while supermarkets have been forced to change suppliers. In addition, there are even companies not sending goods to Northern Ireland at all until the situation calms down.

In an interview with the BBC earlier today, the RHA’s John Martin said that even some of the big supermarkets have been unprepared for the changes. He also confirmed reports that some suppliers had temporarily stopped shipping to Northern Ireland.

According to Reuters, the RHA told Cabinet Minister Michael Gove that the government had introduced some of the world’s most complex customs processes without providing sufficient training, implementation time and capacity.

This, the RHA state, has left industry “one storm/ COVID event/ boat breakdown” away from having serious supply issues. This would in turn result in more empty supermarket shelves in Northern Ireland (indeed there are already reports of some shortages already).

Of course, it isn’t just retail that’s being affected either. RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett also said in the letter that factories could be „starved of materials” too, thereby hitting Northern Ireland’s manufacturing sector.

Photo credit: Henry Clark / Wikimedia Commons

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