Empty supermarket shelves will ‘only get worse’ amid lorry driver shortage

Many supermarket shelves across the UK are in short supply of people’s favourite products due to a shortage of lorry drivers.

The looming crisis is gathering pace with supply chain issues being blamed along with the pandemic and Brexit.

Desperate haulage firms have been forced to dramatically increase wages of drivers and have offered fresh incentives to lure new drivers into the industry as they bid to plug the gaps.

Supermarkets have warned customers about the crisis, with one expert suggesting supply issues will ‘only get worse’ following the pandemic, according to Mirror Online.

Ian Wright, outgoing chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation, said: “The UK shopper could have previously expected just about every product they want to be on shelf or in the restaurant all the time.

Supermarkets across the UK have struggled to get supplies onto shelves due to a shortage of drivers

“That’s over and I don’t think it’s coming back.”

In one city alone, a HullLive reporter, Lucy Marshall, found a number of shelves across different stories were lacking.

In Tesco St Stephen’s a number of the shelves were bare, with some popular items scarce.

There was no issues when it came to fresh food including food, vegetables, meat, and fish. Likewise sweets, tinned items, and dried goods such as pasta were stocked well.

But there seemed to be huge gaps on the shelves when it came to popular drinks.

The sparkling water shelves were completely bare, with both plain and flavoured options unavailable.

What’s more carton juices including apple and orange had great gaps in the shelves, as well as kids’ juice boxes, and fruit shoots.

There was short supply of Robinsons Fruit and Barley Orange in litre bottles, as well as a short supply of dandelion and burdock. Litres bottles of fizzy drinks were also low in stock.

Choices of washing up tablets were scarce. The shelves were not empty but there was a significant lack of products.

Empty supermarket shelves will ‘only get worse’ amid lorry driver shortage
The cereal aisle was extremely bare

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The cereal isle was likely the emptiest of all; there was only one packet of frosted Shreddies left, and there a severe lack of Jack’s cornflakes.

The mayonnaise section was a mess and it was apparent there is a severe shortage.

The meal deals seemed to be in a normal state but the hot food counter was completely empty.

Asda on Hessle Road had a lot less shortages than Tesco, but nonetheless were short on some essential items.

There were no Pampers baby wipes available to buy around 2pm on Friday afternoon.

What’s more juice was also on thin ground here – with squash flavoured drinks in short supply.

There was a sign by the fruit juices saying that items were completely out of stock – including apple juice.

One man who works in Hull reported he was stocking up on his items before they “vanished” from Morrison’s in Anlaby.

He was shocked to see some of the shelves were empty, and grabbed his firm favourites – sparkling water and Coca Cola.

But, he was unable to pick up some essential items earlier this week – leaving his fridge “bare”.

He recalls there was grand amounts of Coca Cola Zero available in Morrison’s, but a slim supply of standard Coca Cola.

Additionally he said that there was a shortage of sponges and shelves were “generally quite empty”.

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