Mc Donald's
A McDonald's restaurant signReuters

Fast food lovers across Japan are facing a Christmas crisis after it was revealed that McDonald's franchises across the country are running out of french fries.

Over 3,000 McDonald's outlets across Japan have announced that they will only be selling small portions of fries for the time being as a protracted dispute between dockworkers and terminal operators in the US has caused severe importation delays.

Terminal operators at 29 shipping lines across the west coast of the US have been in deadlock, meaning that transit times to Japan have more than doubled to between two to four weeks, according to reports.

A shortage of equipment to handle cargo and rail service delays have exacerbated the situation.

McDonald's management in Japan have said that by limiting the amount of fries that they are able to offer, it should prevent them from running out.

A spokesperson for McDonald's Japan told Reuters: "Unfortunately, without this sales restriction step, we would run the danger of running out of fries at some of our stores around the end of the year or beginning of the new year."

Some 1,000 tonnes of frozen fries are being transported to the country. However, more won't arrive until late January.