Over a million parts destined for the Brompton bikes factory have been delayed due to problems at UK ports.
The British maker of folding bicycles which has worldwide sales said it was “juggling like crazy” to keep production moving.
It has warned staff may be sent home if parts do not arrive.
The government says it is “working closely” with the freight industry to help with the challenges facing ports.
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Congestion at UK container ports has been building up in recent weeks, causing problems initially at Felixstowe, but recently at Southampton and London Gateway as well. The backlog has built up as companies increased orders after the initial pandemic lockdown, while some have looked to stockpile goods before the end of the Brexit transition period. The Brompton bike company is famous for its folding bikes, a design that requires 1,200 separate parts to be assembled at its factory in Greenford in Middlesex. Over the past six weeks, 1.5m of Brompton’s parts traveling to the UK from the Far East have either gone missing in containers or have been canceled due to delays at British ports, the company said.’Bumpy ride’Lorne Vary, from Brompton Bikes, said: “The implications are huge. Our bikes are made up of 1,200 parts and if we run out of just one then we grind to a halt.”If we send staff home then, of course, we will continue to pay them but paying for overheads when you are unable to produce is obviously unsustainable.” Alex Veitch, the director of Public Policy at Logistics UK said it had been a “bumpy ride all year” for deliveries due to the initial shutdown of production in China. As Christmas and uncertainty over a Brexit deal intensify.