The closure of a Chinese port has exacerbated the shipping crisis, meaning stock may be in short supply this festive season.

Retailers are scrambling to secure shipping containers after the third-largest port in China was closed due to a Covid outbreak - cutting capacity by a quarter at its busiest time of the year.

The port closure, which handled the equivalent of 29 million containers last year, has intensified pressure on global supply chains, sending prices per container sky high.

Congestion at the remaining ports has further exacerbated issues, pushing prices up higher in time for peak season.

The Entertainer boss Gary Grant told Retail Week earlier this year that prices for shipping a 40-foot container were now 10 times as much as they were fifteen months ago.

The toy retailer urged consumers to buy their Christmas presents early this year in order to avoid disappointment as the retailer does not have enough warehouse space to store the necessary stock for the festive season, as delays continue.

The issue has been worsened by the shortage of lorry drivers in the UK - meaning containers that reach ports may be piled up in the wrong places, waiting to be unpacked.

McColl’s boss Jonathan Miller warned last week that the convenience store retailer would not meet full-year expectations if the crisis continued, while retailers including John Lewis and Dixons Carphone are offering bonuses to get HGV driver on-side.