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IKEA charters own ships as supply issues affect 1,000 product lines in the UK

IKEA is struggling to supply its UK customers with as many as 1,000 product lines, reports the Independent. The Swedish furniture retailer admits it is facing “ongoing challenges" with its supply chain, resulting in the low availability of some products. In order to alleviate these difficulties in the UK and elsewhere, the company is buying containers and even chartering vessels.

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When it comes to the retailer’s UK supply chain struggles, an insider told The Independent that existing supply chain challenges had been worsened by Brexit and Covid-19.

“What we are seeing is a perfect storm of issues, including the disruption of global trade flows and a shortage of drivers, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic and Brexit.”

Reacting to the claims, a spokesperson for the company told the Independent:

“Like many retailers, we are experiencing ongoing challenges with our supply chains due to Covid-19 and labour shortages, with transport, raw materials and sourcing all impacted. In addition, we are seeing higher customer demand as more people are spending more time at home. As a result, we are experiencing low availability in some of our ranges, including mattresses.”

Amid these challenges, IKEA has confirmed to media outlets in the US and Sweden that it is purchasing containers and even chartering ships in order to sure up its supplies.

Mikael Redin, IKEA’s product deliveries director, told Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet that the move had been motivated by issues such as the Suez canal accident, which had caused great disruption.

Redin also told the Swedish newspaper that port congestion, high demand and a lack of raw materials have also been factors affecting the availability of product lines at the furniture store’s branches:

“Congestion in ports combined with historically high demand has created an imbalance in the entire world market for maritime transport. On top of that must be added a general shortage of certain raw materials. All in all, this has unfortunately led to restrictions in our range today.”

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