Shetlanders hoping to shop online for their Christmas presents have been dealt a blow as the knock-on impact of recent bad weather forced courier service Parcel Force and supermarket giants Tesco to suspend deliveries to Scotland and the North Isles.
Tesco has stopped taking orders through its shopping website for Scottish customers, while Sainsbury’s has also suspended deliveries north of the border.
The companies are struggling to clear a sizeable backlog as the UK mainland gets back to normal after a fortnight of heavy snow and freezing temperatures, although more cold weather is expected this weekend.
Disruption in Shetland has been less severe, but haulage into the isles has been badly interrupted. Streamline earlier this month resorted to taking parcels to country halls from where people could collect them.
In a statement on the Tesco Direct website, the company said: “We apologise for any inconvenience, but unfortunately we are currently unable to take any new orders in Scotland and the Scottish Isles.
“This is due to the adverse weather conditions causing a buildup of orders. However, if you have already placed an order we will do our very best to deliver your items as soon as possible.”
Parcel Force said it would not be accepting any parcels for delivery in its Scottish depots until it was “confident” it could deliver orders in time for Christmas.
Its statement read: “Whilst we will continue to deliver as many parcels each day as we possibly can, if we accept more parcels for the affected areas it will make recovery from the current position exceedingly difficult.”