Ben Chu Profile picture
13 Oct, 7 tweets, 2 min read
Been speaking to sources around Felixstowe today about the logjam of shipping containers at the port....…
...Tory party co-chair Oliver Dowden said this morning that the situation is improving & "I’m confident that people will be able to get their toys for Christmas"...… understanding is that it's more complicated than that.

There has been a bit more breathing space at the port in recent days as some of the 50k plus backlog of containers have been shifted...
....yet I'm told this is very much seen as a short-term improvement and one that probably won't last very long.

Insiders don't expect the structural pressures - strong import volumes and low availability of hauliers - to ease any time before Christmas...
...they also point out that it's not just a shortage of hauliers that's the problem for clearing containers from ports.

Distrubution centres, to which containers would be be taken, are full because of a shortage of drivers to distribute from them to supermarkets... problems further down the supply chain as spilling back onto the port...
....& notwithstanding the recent easing, I've also heard the port has put out the message saying its unable to receive empty container returns from 7am tomorrow for some shipping lines & that hauliers should find alternative arrangements.

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More from @BenChu_

13 Oct

@BBCNewsnight has learned that gas shipping firm CNG @CNGenergyUK has written to its domestic supplier company customers saying it will no longer be providing them with gas - and they should seek alternative shippers... reads "It is with regret that I have to inform you that we do not have any further option but to exit CNG's wholesale business. This means CNG will no longer be able to provide gas shipping services..."
..."We advise you to seek alternative shipping arrangements through other known gas shippers in the market"...
Read 13 tweets
12 Oct
IMF now projecting UK to have the highest degree of economic scarring as % of GDP in the G7 due to the pandemic....via @ChrisGiles_…
...recall ministers have been citing the IMF's projections that the UK will have the highest growth G7 rate this year...
...this scarring is a projction they're much less likely to cite, though it's considerably more consequential for our prosperity if it's correct...
Read 6 tweets
12 Oct
UK jobs market has a record number of vacancies (1.1 million in September).

Furlough also ended in September with around 1 million estimated to be on the scheme.

So could those hundreds of thousands of workers coming off furlough fill many of those vacancies?....
...This could turn out to be a key question for the development of the UK economy.

Looking at the data on furlough & vacancies, there's *some* room for optimism.

Some of the sectors with high vacancy rates now do/did have high numbers of people on furlough in July...
...So in theory, furloughed people already in sectors such as retail/manufacturuing/adminstration etc should be able to high levels of vacancies in those sectors....
Read 8 tweets
12 Oct
Does the latest data tell us the UK labour market has now fully recovered?

Not really.

Experimental data from HMRC does suggests the numbers on company payrolls is now back *above* pre-crisis levels...…
...and the official unemployment rate has fallen again to 4.5%, not far from pre-crisis rates...
...Yet, the total number of hours being worked was still 3% lower in the three months to August...
Read 9 tweets
25 Aug
Is more worker immigration from the EU the right solution to the UK haulier shortage crisis?


A thread…
...In June a minister suggested the industry was “crying wolf” about the consequences of driver shortages (down 100,000 on pre-Covid levels)……
...With the shortages now hitting supplies to fast food outlets and supermarkets it’s fair to say the wolf is at the…
Read 13 tweets
8 Jul
UPDATE on the flat cladding/fire safety crisis.

FT reports government asking banks if they can help solve it - meeting with ministers (including PM) & bank bosses on Tuesday....…
...Banks won't lend to people seeking to buy flats with cladding/safety issues helping to make them impossible to sell.

Sounds like banks are proposing government guarantee on mortgages made on flats that could be identified as dangerous to help unlock bank lending...
...Would this work?

Seems to miss the fact that even if someone *could* get lending to buy one of these flats, why would they if they could be hit with bill of up to £100k after purchase?...
Read 5 tweets

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