Pallet Trucks UK, the manual handling equipment provider, has warned warehouses over the UK that Brexit could lead to a shortage of staff in the period leading up to Christmas.
"The pound has fallen lower and lower against the Euro, and overseas workers simply don't want to work in the UK anymore," said Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Pallet Trucks UK. "Plenty of temporary warehouse staff that are taken on for the Christmas rush are from overseas, and a lack of workers could mean that Christmas this year grinds to a halt."
Last year, 73% of customers bought online for the Christmas season. All those orders had to be picked, packaged, and sent out; naturally, the rate of returns was also higher, and those items had to be sorted through too.
It seems that every year Christmas sales increase online, and with fewer workers brands and warehouses will find it difficult to get everything packed on time. No brand wants to be accused by an angry customer of "ruining" their Christmas, but at an emotionally fraught and busy time, mistakes are made. There's the chance this year that the mistakes will be more and more common, leading to angry customers and plunging profits.
"Warehouses have the chance to put a plan into action now about how they will deal with staff shortages, before their competitors do," added Phil Chesworth. "They could offer more benefits, extra training, or more guaranteed jobs after Christmas, but those who don't do anything will feel the strain."