Channel plunged into deep freeze


Channel plunged into deep freeze

Microscope contributor

Distributors are battling through the wintry conditions with disruptions to deliveries in the north of England and Scotland amid forecasts that the weather will not improve until the weekend. 

The heavy snow showers that hit Wales, Scotland and the north-east  last week have spread to other parts of the UK including Kent, Surrey, the east coast and Yorkshire with record low temperatures recorded.

Major logistics firm TNT has warned distributors that it has been forced to suspend guaranteed service levels after 30 trailers were unable to reach the main depot yesterday, while CityLink was unable to get in or out of Misco's Glasgow warehouse.

The south of England was hit badly in the last twenty four hours which prevented around 10% of Chessington-based Northamber's employees from getting into the office this morning.

"It has been a bit of a nightmare here," said Henry Matthews, group managing director at Northamber, "deliveries to the north have been severely affected, we are two days behind [schedule]."

Avnet Technology Solutions also has offices in Chessington and Paul Cook, UK sales director confirmed that circa 10% of staff were unable to get into work while around 25% of staff in Leeds were absent. 

"We haven't had problems getting goods out of our Hamshall logistics centre [in the MIdlands] but getting them to customers in the east and south-east could be tricky depending on the courier," he said.

Andy Gass, managing director at Basingstoke-based Computer 2000, said that deliveries to Scotland were "hampered" but crossed his fingers that the icy climate will improve.

"We'll wait to see what happens later this week," he told MicroScope.

Both IBM and Lenovo ship goods to Prestwick on the east coast of Scotland and Rob Tomlin, business unit director at ISI, confirmed some delays to the deliveries it was expecting.

"It is largely business as usual at the moment but we are keeping an eye on the situation, the more snow we get the more problems we'll have," he said.

Duncan Forsyth, managing director at Westcoast, said staff had made it into the Reading-based offices but concurred it too was "seeing some difficulties" in getting orders fulfilled north of the border.

Others are using the technology they sell to overcome issues, with Micro P stopping sales staff travelling across the UK.

"If the meetings can be held by video conference that is probably the best option," said Mark Kahr, commercial director at Micro P.



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