P&O Chaos To Hit Supply Chain Even Harder

A P & O Ferry at the dockside

P&O’s firing of 800 employees without warning is causing chaos for UK importers, delivery firm ParcelHero has warned – another straw on the back of an already stretched supply chain.

The UK window industry is heavily dependent on imported goods.

ParcelHero is also warning that the ongoing suspension of services could have serious implications for shipments between the UK, Northern Ireland and the Republic during a period of already intense disruption.


 “P&O is not just a passenger ferry operator, its freight services are hugely important for UK supply chains and businesses. It carries around 15% of all freight in and out of the UK, more than 2,000 businesses use its services and it operates a third of the cross channel ferry market.”

– David Jinks 

Head of Consumer Research, ParcelHero


Freight movement

“At the beginning of 2020, P&O operated nine major freight routes with 350 departures a week operating 16 vessels. Last year it shipped 2.2 million freight units. Its services are also closely connected to sister company P&O Ferrymasters, which specialises in shipments from parcels to full loads, though these are not all reliant on ferry services,” continues Jinks.

”Of course, other operators, such as DFDS, are stepping in to help fill the gap, yet there is inevitable disruption.”



Jinks adds in a swipe at P&O: “Ironically, Brexit and Covid 19 have had a positive impact in some ways, in ensuring most international freight transport companies have become more agile and supportive of their hard-working staff. P&O, however, seems to have missed the lessons of the last few years and returned to the 1970s. Ongoing protests mean a longer period of cross-Channel freight disruption than would have been the case had it followed best practice.

Picture: Will the P&O crisis be the straw that broke the camel’s back and cause supply chain chaos?

Article written by Cathryn Ellis
28th March 2022


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