‘Shop Normally This Christmas’ Public Told Amid Container Logjam

Dominic Lipinski – PA Images via Getty Images

Shoppers pass Christmas light displays on New Bond Street in central London. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)

A cabinet minister told the public to “shop normally” this Christmas after shipping containers carrying toys were diverted from the country’s biggest port.

Conservative party co-chair Oliver Dowden insisted he was “confident’ people would be able to get their toys this Christmas. 

It comes after the UK’s biggest container port Felixtowe hit maximum capacity and had to turn away ships delivering toys and electrical goods.

The problem has been caused by a shortage of lorry drivers to move the containers, covid restrictions at ports and a surge in imports.

One shipping boss told The Times: “I don’t want to sound like a Grinch but there are going to be gaps on shelves this Christmas.”

However, Dowden told Sky News: “The situation is improved and I’m confident that people will be able to get their toys for Christmas.

“I quite understand why people are concerned by these headlines but we are working through these challenges as we have worked through other challenges.”

Dan Kitwood via Getty Images

Crates stacked at Felixtowe Port

Asked if people should buy now to be on the safe side, he replied: “I think it sensible to buy when you want – some people buy very early for Christmas, my wife is quite an early Christmas buyer  – others buy later.

“I would say just buy as you do normally.”

Asked if everything would be fine for Father Christmas this year, he added: “Yes I have children myself.”

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