Supermarket chain Asda in the UK is the latest retailer to turn to chartering its own containership to ensure shelves are fully stocked for Christmas.

In a call with investors Asda said it was successfully navigating the industry-wide supply chain challenges and highlighted measures it had taken including, “chartering its own cargo ship to protect the availability of key festive products including festive decorations, toys, clothing and gifts”.

The retailer is reported to have chartered a feeder sized vessel with a capacity for 350 containers that is currently sailing to the UK from China, and expected to arrive in early December. It is the first time Asda has chartered its own vessel.

The supermarket chain joins the likes Home Depot, IKEA, and Walmart in chartering vessels for its own use in an effort to beat supply chain disruption. Congestion at Felixstowe, the UK’s largest container port, in October raised concerns of empty shelves in stores ahead of Christmas and alarmist mainstream headlines about Christmas being cancelled.

Asda is building is increasing the volume of festive goods it has in stock compared to last year. This includes increasing the volume of turkeys and pigs in blankets in store compared to last year, as well as building extra stock of festive products in depots such as mince pies, confectionary, Christmas cakes and puddings.

Source: Seatrade Maritime News