The French truckers? strike has forced Hewlett Packard to find other European ports to ship peripherals and PCs to its lucrative UK market, to prevent competitors from cleaning up. But HP claimed other manufacturers also had problems because of ?clogged ports?.
Goods held up at HP's Grenoble manufacturing centre are being rerouted through Belgium and Holland, claimed Martin Hurren, corporate PR manager at HP UK.
He said: ?We won?t move out of France. We only have two trucks stuck on the motorway. It?s a Dunkirk spirit. We?re moving goods out of France through other countries and ports including Zeebrugge.?
Hurren said that many HP printers were already in Holland and so there wasn?t a problem there. ?The French can?t block every road out of the country,? he said. ?The back streets of France are getting congested.?
He said there was a ?two to three day? delay on PCs but other manufacturers were also affected. ?Everyone is shipping through Holland and Belgium,? he claimed.
HP will stay with France, despite its strikes record, for several reasons, said Hurren. ?Grenoble is a well-known engineering area and we can get high quality personnel there,? he said. ?HP?s policy is we shouldn?t locate all of our manufacturing locations just in the US but in other countries.?
That meant expansion in the UK too, he said. One of HP?s biggest research and development centres is in Bristol and that will be extended soon, he said. ?We also have a very large investment in South Queensferry [Scotland] and we produce microwave parts there.?
UK distributors will not have long to wait, he claimed. ?Our distributors understand the issues every manufacturer is experiencing. A lot of the other ports are being clogged up too,? he said.
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