The current shortages of certain products on our shop shelves is, for the most part, due to a shortage of drivers and of food processing workers. Now, those shortages have been exacerbated by the energy crisis, which in turn has caused the CO2 crisis, which has had a serious knock-on effect on industries such as meat production and food storage. For more details of this perfect storm as we run up to Christmas, and how it could lead to a 5% increase in food prices, read this news article.
In the case of a supply chain crisis such as this, transport operators need to examine all possible mechanisms for improving their systems, as the status quo is plainly no longer fit for purpose. Some leading companies are already changing their processes and starting to look at the problem in an innovative way. For instance, David Potts of Morrisons recently stated that they are now picking up from suppliers, rather than waiting for deliveries to come to them. Not only does this make their supply chain more secure but it also reduces ‘empty’ mileage. More radical solutions may be considered in the future – even the so-far-elusive ‘collaboration’. Morrison’s change in approach could only be delivered via a digitalised strategy, utilising an advanced TMS to manage their orders and deliver consistent, transparent operations – and considerably ease their current driver shortage issues.