Ask Me Anything

Ask a supply chain expert anything about the current UK shortages crisis

Dr Zulf Khan, an expert from Coventry University, will be on hand to answer questions about the crisis surround the supply chain and affecting key areas such as pig farming, petrol, supermarket stock levels and more

Friday 08 October 2021 12:08
<p>A ‘no fuel’ sign on the forecourt of a petrol station in London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)</p>

A ‘no fuel’ sign on the forecourt of a petrol station in London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit are being blamed for the staff shortages that have impacted the delivery of fuel in the UK.

That followed previously reported supply problems at supermarkets, Nando’s, and the construction industry.

Pig and poultry farmers are now warning of similar issues to come as Christmas approaches.

While the UK government has acknowledged there is a shortage of HGV drivers in the UK, they have claimed the problem is worldwide and suggested the long-term solution is for the haulage industry to invest in training instead of being reliant on workers from abroad.

The Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats have accused the government of not doing enough over supply chain issues.

It comes as schools have been urged to stock up on food ahead of anticipated shortages.

One of the largest canteen suppliers in the UK has written to school catering staff advising them they should stock up on frozen and tinned food to ensure that children are properly fed over the winter.

ISS supplies 450 schools – according to an email seen by ITV, the company said food availability for school canteens was being impacted by a shortage of HGV drivers as well as a lack of staff and import delays.

Kate Green, Labour’s shadow education secretary, said ministers were “burying their heads in the sand” over problems with the supply chain, which have led to petrol pumps running dry and as well as empty food shelves.

Sir Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, has written to education secretary Nadhim Zahawi calling on him to urgently meet school caterers, school governors and local councillors in order to discuss the crisis.

With labour shortages already impacting the UK will the global supply chain be able to handle the demands of a ‘normal’ festive period?

Dr Zulf Khan is Curriculum Lead for Operations and Supply Chain Management and Associate Professor at Coventry University’s Business School and will be able to give an expert view on that question and many others during an exclusive ‘ask me anything’ being hosted in the comments section of this page.

Dr Khan research covers Supply Chain Management (SCM), Logistics, Operations, Quality Management and Lean Management and will be able to give insight on the following:

· The pros and cons of modern global supply chains

· Supply chain competitiveness in the light of global competition in current times

· Requirement for improved communication and visibility in the supply chain

Dr Khan will be on hand to answer all your questions on the crisis in the ‘ask me anything’ event on Monday, 11 October. He will be answering live in the comments below between 12.30pm and 1.30pm.

Register to submit your question in the comments box below. If you’re not already a member, click “sign up” in the comments section to leave your question.

Don’t worry if you can’t see your question – they will be hidden until Dr Khan joins the conversation to answer them.

Then join us live on this page from 12.30pm - 1.30pm on Monday, 11 October, as he tackles as many questions as he can within an hour.

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