Resellers and distributors suffered from stock problems last week after a blockade by French fishermen prevented deliveries getting through.
The three channel ports of Calais, Boulogne and Dunkirk were cut off for 48 hours, preventing stock from entering or leaving the UK. The blockade caused a tailback of more than 1,000 lorries in Kent queuing to enter Dover.
Phil Goodman, marketing manager at Metrologie, admitted that the French blockade had affected its deliveries from its French-based warehouse.
?There have been some fulfilment issues which I?m pleased to say have been resolved but its certainly put pressure on some departments,? he said.
Neville Davis, chairman and CEO of Compel, said the blockade was an example of the sort of problem that could be encountered by large international resellers, which were consolidating in Europe.
?In theory, this sort of thing can cause problems for lots of people. If you look at GE Capital?s plans to centralise its logistics in mainland Europe you can see the potential for future trouble. The real world is such that you have to beware of this sort of situation,? said Davis.
The Freight Transport Association has estimated that the two-day dispute will have cost the UK freight industry in excess of #500,000 a day. Last November, similar action by French lorry drivers prompted the UK freight industry to call for compensation of about #100 million. EU transport commissioner Neil Kinnock has called on the French government to settle compensation claims promptly.
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