Convenience store shelves are being left empty due to shortage in delivery ...

Convenience store shelves are being left empty due to shortage in delivery drivers after Covid crisis and Brexit forced workers to return to EU Latest research warns problem is escalating and wholesalers are struggling   Spar wholesaler AF Blakemore has been forced to introduce caps on products  Trade magazine The Grocer said it understands products are also being returned

By Isabella Nikolic For Mailonline

Published: 10:12 BST, 3 May 2021 | Updated: 10:12 BST, 3 May 2021

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Convenience store shelves are being left empty because of a shortage in delivery drivers due to Covid and a reduction in hours they are allowed to work.   

The latest research warns that the problem is escalating as leading wholesalers struggle to cope with too few drivers available to carry out deliveries.

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Spar wholesaler AF Blakemore has been forced to introduce caps on the amount of products that retailers are able to order as the lack of drivers has resulted in fewer wagons on the road and less capacity to transport goods between its depot and shops.

Convenience store shelves are being left empty because of a shortage in delivery drivers due to Covid and a reduction in hours they are allowed to work. Stock picture

Convenience store shelves are being left empty because of a shortage in delivery drivers due to Covid and a reduction in hours they are allowed to work. Stock picture

Trade magazine The Grocer said it understands that products are also being returned to the company's Midlands Willenhall distribution centre as available drivers run out of hours in which they are allowed to drive.  

Blakemore Wholesale Distribution managing director James Russell believes that the Government's reduction in the number of hours drivers are legally allowed to work has stopped them from returning to the UK. 

He said the problem had been caused by both Brexit and coronavirus as drivers returned to the EU in 2020 and have not been back.

The Government temporarily relaxed drivers' rules in the UK last year

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