The items Cheshire residents could struggle to get their hands on due to shortages

These are some of the items that Cheshire residents could struggle getting their hands on due to shortages.

It comes as many people across the UK have felt the impact of the panic at the petrol pumps that started two weeks ago.

Long queues built up at fuel stations across the UK as motorists feared supplies of petrol and diesel might run out due to a HGV driver shortage.

Read more of the top stories from across Cheshire here.

Motorists were warned not to panic buy, but to ‘buy fuel as normal’; however, many petrol stations found themselves quickly out of fuel.

Now, according to HullLive, the shortage is going much further than the petrol forecourt.

And as Boris Johnson has said the haulage industry needs to stop relying on cheap foreign drivers.

The Prime Minister said he wanted to end the UK’s reliance on low-wage foreign workers and for it to become “a well-paid, well-skilled, highly productive economy”.

His comments came after the Government announced it was extending 5,000 temporary visas being offered to foreign lorry drivers amid warnings of shortages on the shelves in the run-up to Christmas.

Here is a list of what is running short – and why.

Meat

Shops have been running out of meat for weeks thanks to the supply chain problems, and the situation got worse when energy prices soared.

That saw two plants that produce carbon dioxide – vital in meat production – shut down.

At the same time, the country is short of 15,000 abattoir workers, meaning there is such a backlog that animals may have to be killed and destroyed on their farms.

Industry leaders have warned there could be a shortage of meat in the run-up to Christmas – including turkeys.

Turkey farmers had already cut their production this year because they knew they would not be able to get the workers. Supply is down at least 20 per cent.

Beer and soft drinks

The closure of factories that make carbon dioxide in the UK thanks to soaring energy prices has hit the production of carbonated drinks.

AG Barr also said this week said it is monitoring the HGV crisis closely to try to ensure it can maintain supply to shops.

Fruit and veg

As with meat, producers deliberately cut back how much they grew this year because they knew there would be a shortage of workers during harvest and production thanks to Brexit and the pandemic.

Plans to bring in foreign imports have failed because of the HGV crisis.

Pasta

Poor wheat harvests in Europe and North America have hit the supply of pasta, while supermarkets have cut back deliveries, according to The Times, because pasta is bulky and takes up room in the under-pressure HGVs.

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Bottled water

As with pasta, supermarkets have been cutting back on deliveries because water takes up a lot of room in HGVs.

Petrol

Following reports last week that BP had warned the Government that it would not be able to fulfil all deliveries due to HGV driver shortages, motorists became concerned and rushed to the pumps. This caused a panic and led to a spike in demand, which further exacerbated the supply worries. There is no issue with the amount of fuel going through refineries. Oil giant ExxonMobil, which operates Esso forecourts and runs the UK’s largest refinery, said it is operating as normal and has “strong supply” to distribution sites.

The problem is getting it to the pumps and reacting to the latest surge in demand, with the Army now called in to help with deliveries.

Computers and games consoles

The factories which make computer chips in the Far East shut down during the pandemic – which is why it is so hard to hold of the latest models of PlayStation and Xbox as well as other computers, tech equipment and gaming machines.

Cars

Car production “plummeted” amid ongoing staff shortages because of the “pingdemic” and the global shortage of microchips, research shows.

Just under 53,500 cars were built in July, a fall of 37.6% on the same month last year, and the worst July performance since 1956, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Summer shutdowns of factories also affected production, which was down by 38% for the UK to 8,233 while manufacturing for export fell by 37.4% to 45,205.

Building supplies

DIY and home improvement soared during lockdown across the UK, Europe and in China putting a strain on supplies of things such as timber.

As a result, it can now be hard to get the materials you need.

Bikes

The pandemic disrupted production in the Far East and closer to home while also seeing people with more time and desire to get out and exercise.

The Times says a third of bike models at Halfords are out of stock.

Shipping delays, including the closure of the Suez Canal when a huge ship became wedged in the vital waterway, have also hit production and supply.

Toys

The supply chain globally has been hit by a shortage of labour, HGV drivers and shipping containers.

Manufacturers have been struggling to get materials, and to deliver supplies of finished goods to the UK.

Furniture

A sofa, and similar furniture, would normally take eight weeks to arrive in your home from point of order.

Thanks to shipping and labour delays globally caused by the pandemic that is now closer to 16 weeks.

There is a shortage of shipping containers to carry the furniture to the UK, thanks to a rise in demand in the USA, the Suez closure and port closures in Asia.

Cheshire Live – Cheshire