The closure of French ports to outbound UK cargo has raised fears over a similar scenario should the UK crash out of the EU without a trade deal.
Northern Ireland business leaders responded by ramping up their call for the Government to ensure a Free Trade Agreement is reached during the ongoing Brexit talks.
It comes as France banned lorries carrying freight from the UK amid fears over the new mutant coronavirus strain.
A backlog of goods has sat on UK and French roads, having a knock-on effect on numerous sectors here.
Manufacturing NI described it as "very, very serious", warning of the potential in 10 days' time "to make life for importers and exporters extremely difficult".
Stephen Kelly, chief executive of Manufacturing NI, said most of the goods disrupted were outgoing from Northern Ireland, and incoming traffic could be hit by European freight drivers' reluctance to travel.
He said: "Manufacturers have been experiencing difficulties for some weeks now as ports in the south east of England have been congested, container ships turning and heading to EU ports and drivers reluctant to travel from continental Europe to the UK due to fears about getting parked up.
"A speedy resolution is required as each day of disruption now will cause several days to unwind and that leads us into and over the Brexit cliff edge which remains very possible come New Year's Day." On Monday the UK and French governments were in talks to resume activity across the Channel, with measures being considered including the possibility of testing French nationals to allow them to return from the UK.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said emergency measures were being put in place to cope with a backlog of lorries heading for the Channel ports, however, the temporary closure has brought the stark realisation that disruption to supply chains to and from Europe post-Brexit could pose mayhem for businesses and consumers here.
Aodhan Connolly, director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, said: "It does go to show the importance of a free flow of goods in from the EU and GB to Northern Ireland and again why it is so important for both sides to agree a Free Trade Agreement."
He said that immediate food stock would not be impacted by the closures but grocery giant Sainsbury's warned that salad leaves and citrus fruits could soon be missing from supermarket shelves as a result.
"If nothing changes, we will start to see gaps over the coming days on lettuce, some salad leaves, cauliflowers, broccoli and citrus fruit - all of which are imported from the continent at this time of year," a spokesperson said.
Andrew Opie, the British Retail Consortium's director of food and food sustainability, warned: "Any prolonged closure of the French border would be a problem as the UK enters the final weeks before the transition ends on December 31."
Elizabeth de Jong, director of policy at the Freight Transport Association, said she was confident the matter would be resolved but the closure should serve to emphasise the importance of workers in the freight trade.
She said: "To ensure the continued movement of goods to and from France, it is essential that drivers continue to be recognised as key workers. However, we are confident that an agreement to keep freight flowing across borders will be reached."
The closures come as one Northern Ireland potato supplier warned a no-deal Brexit would kill off its third generation business and pose a threat to local chippies.