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Coldstores to reach capacity in two weeks

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Coldstores to reach capacity in two weeks

April 21
11:39 2020
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Coldstores will reach capacity within two weeks warns the Cold Chain Federation in its latest Covid-19 update.

Shane Brennan, CEO, Cold Chain Federation outlined: “With frozen and chilled food products still coming into store at a high rate but demand all but gone for many usual customers such as food service, schools and airlines, cold stores are now starting to fill up. We predict that they will be full across the UK, with no new space available, in about two weeks’ time.

Cold chain businesses are doing their best to plan ahead, at the same time as battling to meet wildly changing requirements from week to week, but forward planning is very tough when total uncertainty means that feasibly life could pretty much return to normal by September, but equally restrictions could stay in place at some level until Spring or even Summer 2021.”

“We predict that they will be full across the UK, with no new space available, in about two weeks’ time,” Brennan says.

“There wasn’t enough time to put in place the infrastructure, people and systems needed before Covid-19, and there certainly isn’t now. The fact that government does not seem willing to admit this is very worrying. The risk is chaos and confusion that food supply chain businesses, which will still be reeling from the damage wrought by the covid-19 recession, will be expected to resolve,” Brennan says.

Some EU countries are starting to take steps towards de-restrictions but the Cold Chain Federation said it was not expecting big decisions on strategy in the UK until the PM is back to work.

It added: “The likelihood is a phased approach across the board, shifting from general movement restrictions to targeted ones (for age groups / regions) alongside a phased return of economic activity and phased permitting of gatherings of people and cross-border movement de-restrictions – all with social distancing protocols maintained throughout.

“All this means that life as normal could be with us by September 2020, or more likely not before at Spring / Summer 2021. Like all sectors, this makes planning ahead very tough for cold chain businesses.”

The Cold Chain Federation has reported temperature controlled haulage has seen a huge drop in volume, estimated to be 40-60% across the sector. Many vehicles are parked up and drivers have been furloughed.

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