The costs of container transport have increased almost tenfold since last summer. Meanwhile, major ports around the world are experiencing huge delays. In American ports, the ship’s order book stands at 70 ships awaiting berthing. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, it was rare for more than one to have to wait to dock in ports.

A combination of the shipping backlog, the post-Covid-19 economy and Brexit has led to a compression of the supply chain. The crisis in the UK has already led to a mass slaughter of pigs. They also face a shortage of truck drivers because what often happens in Great Britain has a ripple effect in Ireland.

As countries around the world face shortages, here are a few that Irish consumers are facing or likely will face in the coming months.

Carbon dioxide

Ireland’s food and drink industry is bracing for a potential shortage of industrial carbon dioxide as grocers start stocking up as Christmas approaches.

The food and beverage industry is the largest user of carbon dioxide with the gas used in a wide range of beverages including beer and soft drinks. The gas is used in the production of many meats, as well as to carbonate drinks and transport medicines.

Concerns were raised after a major supplier to the island of Ireland, Nippon Gas, said that industrial CO2 issues affecting the UK could spread elsewhere in Europe.

In the meat industry, carbon dioxide is also used to stun pigs and poultry prior to slaughter, while it also extends the shelf life of products and is vital for cooling systems for the purpose of slaughter. refrigeration.

Food grade carbon dioxide is also used to carbonate water, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, to distribute beverages and beers in pubs, and to promote the growth of plants – such as cucumbers – in greenhouses. .

“There are concerns in the supply chain for food grade carbon dioxide due to supply issues in the UK and Northern Europe,” Paul Kelly, director of Food Drink Ireland, told The Irish Independent.

Fashion and department stores

The Next department store has warned that the increase in transportation costs for them has resulted in a price increase of around 2% and they expect those prices to increase in the first half of 2022.

Marks and Spencer warned Irish consumers would not enjoy the same variety or volume of Christmas goodies. The company has already announced the cancellation of its Christmas Food to Order service. He blamed the “complexities” of the supply chain due to Brexit. The company also announced the withdrawal of 800 lines at Irish Marks and Spencer stores.

Fast-fashion giant Penneys has also warned of delays at its Irish stores due to disruptions in ports and containerized freight. However, company director John Bason said Reuters the problem was “delays rather than cancellations”.

Exhausted shelves in a Marks & Spencer supermarket in Dublin city center. An Irish freight group has warned of a huge disruption to supply chains after Brexit in the coming weeks, as the impact of Britain’s exit from the EU is felt.


Smyths Toys Ireland has issued a warning to parents buy early before Christmas, again due to supply issues. The toy store cited shipping and container issues as the reasons for the expected delay of some popular toy brands.

The Connacht Tribune reports that other toy stores such as Beattys Toymaster in Loughrea are also waiting for some orders to arrive.


Swedish furniture retailer Ikea is experiencing product shortages in Ireland as transport issues and the availability of raw materials worsen supply.

The lack of heavy truck drivers and shipping delays around the world have compounded the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on global supply chains, the retailer said of its UK and its Ireland. websites.

Buyers hoping to gift an Ikea product to a friend this Christmas may be disappointed, with the retailer saying around 10% of its stock is not available.

“Like many retailers, we face ongoing challenges with our supply chains due to Covid-19 and labor shortages, with transportation, raw materials and supply all affected. In addition, we are seeing increased demand from customers as more and more people are spending more time at home ”, an Ikea Ireland spokesperson said.

Electronic products

Irish consumers may find themselves unable to purchase a number of electronics as Christmas approaches due to soaring silicon prices and a subsequent shortage of semiconductor chips.

The availability of semiconductors, the computer chips that power smartphones, game consoles, laptops, washing machines and many other electronic products, has been severely affected by a number of factors, including delays in manufacturing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, stricter international restrictions on the movement of supply caused by Brexit and increased shipping costs.

Meanwhile, there has been a slowdown in silicon production coupled with growing demand linked to Covid-19, as employers and those who work from home have ordered more materials and gadgets online. Silicon is an essential part of our cell phones and computers; as well as in glass, concrete and automotive parts.

The supply shortage means that electronics in demand, such as the PlayStation 5, will be even more difficult for consumers to obtain before Christmas.

Meanwhile, buyers have also been warned that the chip shortage could drive up the prices of a number of products, with CEAMA President Eric Braganza saying it was “the biggest challenge ahead. the consumer electronics industry, as price increases are to be expected “.

The Irish time report that people in the chip industry believe the global supply shortage will last through 2022 and into 2023.


Semiconductor shortages continue to have a huge impact on automotive manufacturing. New car sales in Europe were at their lowest for more than 25 years last September, according to the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers.

New car registrations in Europe fell 23.1 percent to 718,598 in September 2021 from a year ago, according to the trade organization, which was brutal in its assessment: “This drop in sales has was largely caused by a lack of vehicle supply due to the current semiconductor shortage. “

The shortage has been so acute that some of the world’s best-known automakers have been forced to temporarily shut down production at their factories.

With wait times for new cars increasing exponentially, drivers are turning to the used car market. With delivery times of up to 20 weeks before new cars arrive on dealership forecourts, drivers are flocking to the used car market, which in turn drives up prices as demand increases. .

“As a result, the average price of a used car has increased by 15% in Ireland since September 2020. The national used car stock has fallen by 18% over the same period,” Conor O’Boyle , second-hand – Sweep automotive specialists, told the Irish Times.

Volkswagen Ireland issued a statement last month citing the perfect storm of events that has crippled automakers and hampered their production lines.

“The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on production and supply chains, coupled with the growing demand for semiconductors, are having a major impact on a number of sectors, including the global automotive industry. Volkswagen cannot escape these developments. VW Ireland said in a statement to RTE.

Renault Ireland has said it expects the chip shortage to continue until 2022.

“The vehicle supply for Ireland will be reduced compared to previous years. This may reduce the choice we can offer on some models. And realistically, we should expect that many customers will wait a little longer for their new car, ”Jeremy Warnock, a Renault Ireland product manager said. Irish weather.