Port disruption ‘could cause ripple effects across economy’, firm warns

Around £6.7bn worth of goods go through the Port of Felixstowe, according to Russell Group Ltd Picture: ALAN BOYLE

Around £6.7bn worth of goods go through the Port of Felixstowe, according to Russell Group Ltd Picture: ALAN BOYLE - Credit: Archant

Household names which import and export through the Port of Felixstowe could be exposed to disruption to hundreds of millions of pounds worth of goods in the run-up to Christmas, a risk management company has warned.

Russell Group Ltd chief executive Suki Basi warns big UK importers and exporters are exposed to risk through disruption at...

Russell Group Ltd chief executive Suki Basi warns big UK importers and exporters are exposed to risk through disruption at the Port of Felixstowe Picture: RUSSELL GROUP LTD - Credit: Archant

Russell Group Ltd — which uses analytics to assess “connected exposure” — claims retail and engineering giants such as Asda, John Lewis, Tesco and Rolls-Royce are among those facing “substantial” trade exposure caused by disruption at the port as firms stockpile in advance of Brexit on December 31.

“The port, which is suffering a logistical logjam due to oversubscription in delivery slots, has created supply chain headaches for British companies in the run up to Christmas, adding to the current woes caused by the pandemic. Also, there is a possibility of a ‘hard Brexit’ on the horizon too,” said the company.

MORE — Online retailer moves to huge warehouse off A14It has compiled data on businesses which import and export a total of £6.7bn worth of goods through the Port of Felixstowe, which it describes as “a vital artery of the British economy”.

Asda tops a list of leading importers via the port, and estimates its exposure at £324m. 1. Next comes John Lewis (£244m), Tesco (£220m), Marks and Spencer (£211m), Capri Holdings (£181m), Electrocomponents plc (£163m), Chanel (£128m), APTIV (£106m),Burberry Group (£103m) and Jaguar Land Rover (£85m).

Meanwhile Rolls Royce tops its table of the main exporters via the port with £160m worth of exposure, followed by Diageo (£83m), Bodycote (£48m), GlaxoSmithKline (£20m), Kaz Minerals (£14m), B.E Wedge Holdings (£11m), JCB (£10m), Unilever (£9m), APTIV (£8m) and Chivas Brothers £8m).


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Russell Group chief executive Suki Basi said: “The large exposure of many leading British companies from the disruption at Felixstowe is real-time example of ‘connected trading risk exposure’.

“For the disruption at the port creates ripple effects across the economy, from supply chain disruption for organisations through to potential higher prices for UK consumers.

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“While the current pandemic has rightly forced many organisations to reassess their current risk management techniques, these figures, in our view, show that any effective risk mitigation plan needs to have a connected trading risk exposure strategy at the heart of it.”

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