U.S. warns on Xmas gifts; UK says don't panic buy

Don’t panic-buy for Christmas.

That was the message from the British government Wednesday (October 13).

The comments come a day after Washington warned Americans they could see some empty shelves over the festive season.

In the UK, ships carrying toys and electrical goods have been diverted from the country's biggest port because it was full.

Maersk, the world's biggest shipping company, has moved some vessels away from Felixstowe in eastern England because there is nowhere left to stack containers.

That's amid a shortage of truck drivers to move the goods.

Conservative Party Chairman Oliver Dowden said people should buy normally for Christmas though.

He said he was ‘confident’ there would be no shortage of gifts this year, and the situation was improving at the port.

Felixstowe is a particularly important site for British trade.

It handles 36% of the country’s containerised freight.

As well as port congestion, the shortage of truck drivers is having effects along the supply chain.

Recent weeks have seen petrol pumps run dry amid panic buying, and empty shelves in some supermarkets.

The comments from Britain come a day after U.S. officials warned Americans they might not be able to get everything they want this holiday season.

The White House has appointed a 'bottleneck czar' to tackle the congestion at ports.

But the supply chain crisis threatens to dampen U.S. spending, and alarm consumers unused to empty store shelves,

Officials say shoppers will need to be flexible and patient in the coming months.

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