Closer to home
Britain is not without its own, chiefly Brexit-related, woes.
On land, the new visa criteria have dramatically cut available labour for goods transportation, in some places as much as half. Plus, rules around self-isolation to slow the spreading of the virus has led to chronic staff shortages and has resulted in supply chain ‘chaos’. Supermarkets have been forced to cut certain produce, and increase prices where necessary.
Businesses have this to contend with, as well as the ongoing fallout of Brexit, which has made things more expensive, delayed and created a bureaucracy that is harder to navigate. The current situation is untenable for the greater share of businesses.
Added to that, experts warn against an optimistic view - this state of affairs is expected to last well into 2022, possibly longer. The recent partial closures of Yantian and Guangzhou in China - two significant ports for trade with Europe will powerfully strangle imports to the West and make it incredibly difficult for retailers to meet demand. This will particularly affect businesses who look to make a substantial portion of their profits during times of higher demand, like Christmas and Black Friday.
There are fears that later this year unexpecting customers will see a tremendous spike in prices across a range of goods, from produce to toys.