Coronavirus threatens British pork exports to China as disruptive global supply chain problems escalate

March 16, 2020 – The Grocer magazine is reporting that Coronavirus is threatening to slow British pork production as severe disruptions to global shipping are exacerbating the problem causing many businesses to struggle finding containers for long-haul transportation.

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Perishable goods rely on refrigerated ‘reefer’ containers for long-haul transportation and disruptions at Chinese ports have created a global shortage.

Jim Brisby, commercial director at British Cranswick, confirmed there have been difficulties. “There has been disruption and it is continuing, with containers quite hard to get and boats piling up outside Shanghai,” he said. He pointed out that recent signs of recovery in China meant British meat exports may soon return to normal.

About one in seven of the world’s reefer containers are stuck in the region unable to unload. Even if the global coronavirus outbreak ended tomorrow, shipping lines could still take at least eight months to return to normal, the report concluded.

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