Ikea is the latest firm to be hit by chaos at British ports, as angry customers complained of late or cancelled orders on social media.
A perfect storm of economies reopening after lockdown, Brexit stockpiling and the rush to buy Christmas presents has presented a logjam for the homeware giant.
It has also dealt with a surge of customers adapting to home working in recent months.
Disruption to parts supplies at Felixstowe has also left bicycle firm Brompton unable to meet demand and forced carmaker Honda (HMC) to pause production this week.
Ikea apologised to customers, saying orders had become harder to fulfil due to “unprecedented demand.”
One customer tweeted: “After an hour and half on hold. Finally found out my items are on back order. I dont know why you cant put this on the order summary. Also the agent didn’t sound very enthralled to help me either if I’m honest. Hour and half wait for about a minute of dialogue.”
The news comes amid warnings to the UK government that the current port chaos could be repeated next year as new Brexit checks come into force, threatening to make some food supply routes “unviable.”
Port operators say supermarket meat and salad supplies could face major disruption, accusing the government of an “alarming lack of urgency” upgrading border facilities and plans for overly heavy-handed checks.
Officials have even reportedly spent industry calls focusing on “random issues” like handling stray cats in containers, to the frustration of listening port bosses still awaiting sign-off for infrastructure plans.
Fresh problems are expected in a just a few weeks’ time as the Brexit transition period ends, with Tesco among the firms reported to have stockpiled long-life goods.
Officials have warned for months on potential supply chain issues. In February Ali Capper, chair of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU)’s horticulture board, slammed a “head-spinningly unbelievable” clampdown on migrant workers announced by the government.
Speaking exclusively to Yahoo Finance UK, the apple farmer warned a lack of pickers will threaten harvests just as imports of fresh EU produce face new border checks from January 2021.
Meanwhile, Brits have also been warned not to stockpile food and toilet roll ahead of 1 January, when the UK stops trading under EU rules.
On Sunday, the UK and the EU agreed to continue Brexit negotiations and extend the deadlined aimed at reaching a deal.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said ongoing uncertainty made it harder for companies to prepare for the New Year. “Retailers are doing everything they can to prepare for all eventualities on 1 January — increasing the stock of tins, toilet rolls and other longer life products so there will be sufficient supply of essential products,” said BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson.
Dickinson added: “While no amount of preparation by retailers can entirely prevent disruption there is no need for the public to buy more food than usual as the main impact will be on imported fresh produce, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, which cannot be stored for long periods by either retailers or consumers.”
Watch: What happens if no Brexit deal is struck?