The French truck-drivers' strike has forced Hewlett Packard to find other European ports to ship peripherals and PCs to its lucrative UK market to prevent competitors from cleaning up.
But the company claimed that other manufacturers also had problems because of 'clogged ports'.
Goods held up at its Grenoble manufacturing centre are being re-routed through Belgium and Holland, said Martin Hurren, corporate PR manager at HP UK.
'We won't move out of France,' he said. 'We only have two trucks stuck on the motorway. It's a Dunkirk spirit. We're moving goods out of France through other countries and ports including Zeebrugge.'
Hurren said that many of HP's printers were already in Holland and so there wasn't a problem there. 'The French can't block every road out of the country,' he said. 'The back streets of France are getting congested.'
He said there was a `two to three day' delay on PCs but added that other manufacturers were also affected.
'Everyone is shipping through Belgium and Holland,' he claimed.
Hurren said HP will stay in France for several reasons. 'Grenoble is a well-known engineering area and we can get high-quality personnel there.
'HP's policy is that we shouldn't locate all of our manufacturing locations just in the US but in other countries.'
That meant expansion in the UK too, he said. One of HP's biggest R&D centres is in Bristol and that will be extended soon, he said. 'We also have a very large investment in South Queensbury (Scotland) and we produce microwave parts there.'
UK distributors will not have long to wait, he claimed.
'Our distributors understand the issues that every manufacturer is experiencing,' he said. 'A lot of the other ports are being clogged up too.'
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