Prime Minister Boris Johnson has taken several steps to address the shortage of truck drivers after the fuel crisis in September. Months later, and with thousands of new truck drivers, there are still fears that food, fuel, and other items might be in short supply in the run-up to Christmas.
The latest scare, due to a lack of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers, is the United Kingdom could face a shortage of alcohol, according to UK Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WTSA).
WTSA sent a letter to UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, requesting the government take immediate action to boost HGV drivers. The letter was signed by 49 industry association members, including champagne and cognac makers Moet and Hennessy.
"There is mounting concern amongst our membership that unless urgent action is taken, we will fall deeper into delivery chaos. 49 member companies have put their name to our letter calling on the Transport Secretary to extend the temporary visa scheme and improve transport routes.
"We are already seeing major delays on wine and spirit delivery times which is pushing up costs and limiting the range of products available to UK consumers. Government needs to be doing all it can to ensure British business is not operating with one hand tied behind its back over the festive season and beyond," the letter stated.
WTSA urged the government to extend temporary visas to one year for HGV drivers.
However, the UK government told CNN in a statement that it doesn't expect any alcohol shipment disruptions this holiday season.
"The government acted quickly to tackle the challenges to our supply chains, which were brought on by global pressures including the pandemic and the international shortage of HGV drivers," a government spokesperson told CNN.
The shortage of drivers caused a massive fuel crisis in September, with many gas stations running out of petrol for at least a week. The government deployed the army to transport fuel from distribution centers to fuel stations.
Even if an alcohol shortage doesn't materialize, congested supply chains and persistent inflation has led to price increases.