Storm Arwen exposed underlying news supply chain problems, according to the NFRN, as hundreds of stores failed to receive deliveries.
A Menzies lorry overturned near Hartlepool on Sunday morning while some runs out of Wakefield and Sheffield depots were abandoned.
Terry Caton, of Londis in Chesterfield, was one of several stores to recognise the challenging conditions, stating: “I want to really thank and praise those drivers that pulled out all the stops.”
Official data showed newspapers missed half of scheduled arrival times across the weekend.
The NFRN praised the drivers, but said “unforgivable” poor planning worsened delays on this and other weekends.
Saturday calls to its helpline were up 63% in November, with approximately 85% from members struggling to get delay updates from wholesalers.
NFRN national president Narinder Randhawa called on wholesalers to give more detailed and more frequent delay updates, and publishers to alleviate pressure on wholesalers.
NFRN head of news and connect Brian Murphy explained: “With driver shortages remaining, more bad weather on the way and new strands of Covid-19 evident, publishers must print earlier.”
Read more news and advice about the newspaper and magazines category and click here for the latest ABC circulation figures