Dry Ice Shortage in Britain Crimps Frozen Food Deliveries

Online grocery retailer Ocado in the United Kingdom is being forced to ration frozen food deliveries because a current CO2 crisis has left it short of dry ice, thus limiting its ability to deliver frozen products to customers, according to a Metro story filed by Tom Herbert over the weekend.

“Industry insiders warned the crisis is set to affect other supermarkets,” he wrote.

ocadoOcado customers have been met with an online warning reading: “We’re sorry! Like other retailers, the UK-wide CO2 shortage is limiting our ability to deliver frozen items. The problem should be sorted very soon.”

Dry ice, which is made by cooling and pressurizing CO2, is used in packages transported short haul online delivery trucks and vans to keep food frozen while transferred from dispatch depots to home and office addresses. This is not the case with bulk shipments made from production plants to refrigerated warehouses, which are transferred in refrigerated trucks and containers.

John Hyman, chief executive of the British Frozen Food Federation, commented: ‘We are in the process of investigating these reports further and will continue to communicate with our members throughout this process while we establish the facts around the root cause. We are currently working with members to establish if they are affected by the shortage and how any potential issues can be mitigated as smoothly as possible.”