With sales on [main street] weaker than expected in September, retailers are uncertain about how much they should order for Christmas and could be forced to request stock at the last minute. But with the global freight industry in the grip of its worst crisis in more than 20 years, it lacks the capacity to expand cargo volumes rapidly, or to deliver goods quickly. The combination could create a "doubly-whammy" for retailers and manufacturers, warned John Manners-Bell, chief executive of Transport Intelligence, an industry analyst. "Retailers and manufacturers had their fingers burnt last year and will be desperate not to overstock for the peak season. But if consumer demand picks up in the approach to Christmas we can guarantee there will be a dash for cargo capacity."
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