Stockpiling for Brexit

Have you ever been in ASDA, Tesco, or Sainsbury’s a few days before a snow storm is predicted?

You’ll either see people frantically stocking up on bread, milk, toiletries, and other ridiculous things in a panic, thinking they are going to be stuck at home with no access to the things they need, or maybe you show up the night before the storm is due to hit, and all the shelves are empty!

Well, Brexit, (or no-deal Brexit), has driven some manufacturers to do the same thing. While most of the stockpile is needed - such as insulin and other life dependent medicines - some things have been stockpiled you may not have expected!

Retail Industry

Brexit Stockpiling

If we are blessed with another long, sunny summer, we cannot be expected to go without Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream! Or this is what I like to think Unilever said to themselves when they decided to start stockpiling ice creams that are made on the continent. Unilever supply the whole of Europe with Ice Cream, as well as deodorants such as Lynx, Dove, and Sure.

So not only will we have Ice Cream this summer, but none of us will be stinky in the heat! Situated on both sides of the channel, Unilever is expecting disruption only to supply chains so have only stocked up a few months of inventory.

For those who enjoy a glass of wine, Majestic Wines has made us all a little frazzled with the possibility of a dry May. They plan on stocking an extra £8 million in wine by the end of March. We don’t know if we should be happy that they are stockpiling wine, because that means we will have it, or if I should be shell shocked that they think there’s a possibility we will be cut off from it.

Military Stockpiling


Operation Yellowhammer – the codename the Military has given the stockpiling, or Forward purchases as they call it, is in full effect. They have begun stockpiling food, fuel, spare parts and ammunition at various military bases inside and outside the UK. They have spent at least £23 million so far to reduce disruption.

Some other businesses that have begun stockpiling:

  • Cadbury - stockpiling higher levels of ingredients and even finished products
  • NHS – medicines, vaccines, body bags (what?!), and blood
  • Jaguar Land Rover – vehicle parts
  • Tesco and Marks & Spencer’s – tinned food

Stockpiling Summary

All jokes aside, we are pleased to see that companies are concerned about meeting customer demands if things do go south. Almost all industries are undergoing a Brexit contingency plan, and it has taken a serious effect on warehousing and refrigerated units - UK warehousing space is already 75% full.

“Tesco, Britain’s largest supermarket, has rented an emergency supply of refrigerated units to mitigate any chaos in the event of a disorderly Brexit. Marks & Spencer has begun stockpiling non-perishable goods. Pharmaceutical giants, meanwhile, have secured additional U.K. warehouse space for medicines and vaccines that require cold storage. And automakers like BMW are frantically looking to store components.”

Looking ahead and considering potential risks is natural to any company. I’m sure we’ll be extremely grateful for all of this when we're sitting in the sun, indulging in a deliciously cold Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream this summer.

Needing extra cold storage space for your Brexit stockpiling needs?

We're currently offering our 45ft Refrigerated Containers for the price of a 40ft! For the summer months only CRS have reduced the price of any newly hired 45ft Refrigerated Containers and Cold Stores to the same price as their 40ft versions! Find out more information here.

45ft Cold Store Offer

Thursday 23rd May 2019

Published by: CRS Cold Storage

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