August 2021

P&O Iona maiden voyage

Leaving Southampton for her first trip P&O Iona at 184,000 tons, she is a big ship, plenty of Hampshire cheese on board for some lucky customers.

Topic of the month is the dire shortage of lorry drivers, if not a shortage of everything from cardboard for our boxes to poultry meat. This is all going to take a lot of sorting out, and anyone who thinks this is going away is very mistaken. With an estimated shortage of 100,000 drivers, and the government clearly taking very little if any action to resolve the issue, it will be perishable produce that will take the hit, vegetables will be left in the fields, and meat left in the fridges. Supermarkets, in there great wisdom have launched a campaign to steal drivers from from third parties, pretty futile really, this will just leave their depots half empty as farms find they have no drivers to deliver to the depots, and cause huge disruption. One has to ask why Supermarkets have no drivers all of a sudden, may be they will look after their new drivers better than they looked after the old ones. Driver facilities are generally outrageously poor, provision for lay-bys and park ups, are virtually no existent, not to mention toilet facilities, driver hours hours are all over the place and how there are not more accidents I have no idea. I have experienced some of this rubbish with our lorry, you are kept waiting to unload by grumpy depot staff, and supermarkets that think tomorrow will do. Sadly none of this is going to change in the future, so the shelves will go empty for some, because you need to be a bit special drive one of those wagons.

Just to add to all this chaos the weather is making life hard for harvest, too cool to ripen sweet corn, and a lot of very green pumpkin, and they will all need lorries to deliver them.