PRODUCTION at a major car plant is reported to have been disrupted by problems at UK ports, including Southampton.

Japanese carmaker Honda has announced that manufacturing at its Swindon plant will be halted today after transport-related issues caused a shortage of car parts.

Honda has told employees that it is currently experiencing delays caused by congestion at ports across the country.

"The situation is currently being monitored with a view to restart production as soon as possible," the company said.

The car giant is reported to be looking at other options including air freight.

Congestion at UK container ports is said to have been building up for weeks, causing problems at Felixstowe, Southampton and London Gateway.

Operators have been overwhelmed by a surge in freight volumes at a time when their ability to handle it is being hampered by coronavirus restrictions, according to industry experts.

Felixstowe has been struggling to cope as firms rushed to replenish stock after lockdown ended while simultaneously building stockpiles before the final Brexit deadline.

Reports say congestion at Felixstowe has resulted in more container traffic being sent to Southampton and London Gateway, causing issues there as well.

In a statement Honda said: "Honda of the UK Manufacturing has confirmed to employees that production will not run on Wednesday 9 December due to transport-related parts delays."

Southampton docks is run by Associated British Ports (ABP).

An ABP spokesperson said: "Pre-Christmas is traditionally a busy time for ports, and a number of UK ports are experiencing unprecedented demand.

"While ABP operations are extremely busy they are running normally and our Humber ports have extra capacity to relieve some of the congestion other UK ports are experiencing, offering container and roll-on/roll-off services."