One of Britain’s foremost manual handling equipment providers, Pallet Trucks UK, is openly warning Britain’s warehouse operators that the run-up to Brexit may lead to a shortage of staff all along the supply chain as we approach Christmas.
Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Pallet Trucks UK, commented: “The pound has fallen lower and lower against the Euro, and overseas workers simply don’t want to work in the UK anymore. Plenty of temporary warehouse staff that are taken on for the Christmas rush are from overseas, and a lack of workers could mean that Christmas this year grinds to a halt.”
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In 2016, 73% of customers bought at least some of their Christmas gifts online, and those orders had to be picked, packaged, and posted. The naturally higher rate of return also caused issues, requiring additional sorting.
Online Christmas sales continue to increase, but decreasing numbers of workers make it difficult to get stock packed on time. The quicker the rate of preparing stock, the more likely it is that mistakes are made, and brands risk accusations of ruined Christmases.
“Warehouses have the chance to put a plan into action now about how they will deal with staff shortages, before their competitors do,” added Chesworth. “They could offer more benefits, extra training, or more guaranteed jobs after Christmas, but those who don’t do anything will feel the strain.”