Teesside firm risks losing 15% annual turnover due to port delays

A Teesside business owner has told ITV News Tyne Tees he is concerned that he may lose up to 15 per cent in annual turnover due to the ongoing delays and disruptions at UK ports.

Jack Griffiths, the co-founder of Snuggy, a luxury loungewear company based in Stockton, said with Christmas on the way and with it being his busiest time of the year, the delays could not have come at a worse time.

He said: "We’ve got over a million pounds worth of stock stuck at Felixstowe as we speak. We’re being told we can’t get that stock until the start of November, which means we’re going to lose out on three or four weeks worth of sales."

The company had to wait months earlier in the year when its stock was left stuck on the Ever Given container ship which was stranded in the Suez Canal.

A company that wants to grow and offer opportunities within the Teesside community, it is constantly having to adapt to changes out of its control.

Mr Griffiths added: "It seems to be one thing after another, you know, we can’t catch a break at the minute and 80 per cent of our annual turnover comes within he months of October to February. Now if we lose a month of that due these HGV delays, we’re losing roughly 15 per cent of our annual turnover, which might not sound much, but let me tell you, that’s a big figure."

Cockfield Knight, the specialist shipping company which operates at the Port of Middlesbrough, dealing with the logistics getting export and import vessels in and out of the port, has also seen direct consequences of the delays.

General Manager, Richard Booth, told ITV News there is a shortage of ships available due to the container shortage and its having a knock-on effect to the local economy.

He said: "This is having a knock-on effect on our clients, of course, these goods are industrial goods mainly to go into the feed stocks of the various plants around Teesside, so it’s causing delays in their manufacturing progress, because they can’t get the feed stocks in. It’s also increasing costs all the time.

"I got offered a special offer only yesterday at fifteen and a half thousand US dollars per 40 foot container, whereas a year ago, that would have been around one and a half thousand US dollars. So this all adds onto the problems facing British importers, is the cost."

The Government said it is working with businesses and ports to deal with the delays.

Savid Javid MP said: "The government is doing a lot. There’s measures already been taking place at Felixstowe and I think the government has been clear, especially the Treasury and the Business Department and others that have actively been involved in this on a day to day basis, that we’re working with businesses, we’re working with port operators and we’re going to keep everything moving smoothly."