Problems with the Forth Road Bridge in Scotland will have little or no impact on deliveries, says Amazon, whose largest UK fulfillment centre is in Dunfermline, just north of the bridge.
The Forth Bridge, which connects Fife to nearby Edinburgh, and is the main highway south, has been closed following cracks were discovered some of the bridge’s support beams; no firm date has been given for reopening the bridge, although Scotland’s transport minister, Derek Mackay, has said he remains hopeful work will be completed by early January.
One load-bearing link had developed a 2cm crack, which potentially could have led to the road-deck of the bridge dropping 15cm, causing an immediate, and very serious, safety risk.
Opened in 2011, the Dunfermline centre has one million square feet of space, which is approximately the size of 14 football pitches, recently took on hundreds of seasonal workers. It has also been the subject of complaints from local residents angry about noise from lorries.
According to Amazon, its network of other UK fulfillment centres will be able to absorb the impact of disruptions to and from the Dunfermline site. A spokesperson for the company was quoted in the Scotsman newspaper saying: “We are confident that the closure of the Forth [Road] Bridge will not impact our ability to deliver the service that our customers expect of us in Scotland and the rest of the UK. Amazon has a network of 10 fulfilment centres in the UK and each of these serve customers across the country. We are used to dealing with transport disruptions and put in place contingency measures to ensure we continue to provide the highest levels of service to our customers.”
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has claimed the closure is costing the industry around £600,000 per day in additional fuel costs. Around 10,500 lorries cross the bridge each day according to the RHA, which says the main diversion is adding £30 per journey.
© Copyright John Taylor