Leading automaker Honda is expected to pause production at its UK plant due to a shortage of vehicle parts owing to the slow or delayed delivery of parts caused by the run-up to the end of Brexit transition period. The car company, which relies on “just in time” and “just in sequence” supplies, has stated that the decision was due to the delay in transportation of parts as ports took a blow from Brexit and coronavirus restrictions.
As per credible sources, Honda’s Swindon factory in south-west England built around 110,000 cars last year but is about to close permanently next year. The company is apparently seeking alternative measures, such as air freight, however the manufacturing may come to a halt as early as Wednesday. The automaker joins a growing number of businesses worried about disruption that can be traced back to the ports. Builders are reportedly showing shortages of power tools, roof tiles and timber while retailers are struggling to get stock into stores in time for Christmas.
It has been reported that the roads in Kent were recently hit by lorry queues continuously for the fourth day in two weeks, with Brexit stockpiling and reduction in the number of ferries due to Covid being the major causes of the congestion.
Besides, the ports are also facing challenges as operators are overwhelmed by increasing freight volumes at the point of time when their ability to handle it has been hampered by coronavirus restrictions. Speaking of which, from September, the UK’s largest container port, Felixstowe is struggling to keep up as companies rushed to restock after lockdown ended while simultaneously stockpiling prior to final Brexit deadline. Congestion at Felixstowe is a problem for the country as it manages nearly 40% of the containers moving into and out of the UK.
Meanwhile, the Builders Merchants Federation has stated that port delays are becoming a big issue as shipments are taking approximately four weeks to get through. The situation was of major concern because it was preventing companies from building up Brexit stockpiles.
Apparently, the disruption experienced by Honda is an alarming situation for the company amidst Brexit talks. Due to this, carmakers are moving cars and parts both ways across the channel to make sure that they sustain in case the UK and EU fail to agree on a trade deal.