UK haulage crisis and Irn-Bru

Many canned drinks producers will be affected by the current haulage crisis in the UK. This is on top of other issues that have arisen such as aluminium cans and carbon-dioxide shortages. Recently we heard about Coca-Cola’s supply chain concerns.

Now, Scottish company AG Barr, makers of Scotland’s “other national drink” – Irn-Bru – has revealed that it is struggling to make deliveries of the fizzy drink due to HGV and supply chain issues.

The company says it has seen increased challenges in recent weeks across the UK road haulage fleet, associated in part with the Covid-19 pandemic, impacting customer deliveries and inbound materials as well as risks associated with the wider labour pool.

Roger White, chief executive of AG Barr which is based in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire said: “There is a tightness with drivers and we have had particular disruption too with materials, particularly aluminium cans.”

This follows a recent warning from the company about “unprecedented circumstances” over Irn-Bru production caused by the carbon dioxide shortfall as the price of natural gas in the UK increased by 250% since January and 70% since August.

The warnings came as the company revealed sales remain strong despite the pandemic, with growth returning following the reopening of pubs, bars and restaurants.

AG Barr said it continues to “monitor closely” the situation and is hopeful the issues can be resolved soon.

There will no doubt be similar stories arising. Do let us know about any issues you are facing resulting from the current challenges in your area of business.

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