They used to say that a week was a long time in politics, but these days 24 hours seems to have enough news for a normal year. In the wake of Brexit, it’s begun to feel like we’re driving through thick fog, relying on our fog lights to illuminate as much as possible as we negotiate the hazy conditions ahead.
While 52% of Britain voted to leave the European Union,
in recent years up to 52% of the UK’s goods have been exported to the EU.
Those exports rely on freedom of movement and logistics for safe, efficient, and fast delivery of goods. While the country works together to map out a new road, it’s clear that logistics after Brexit will have to adapt to deliver the same standard of service.
Experts have been doing their best to shine a light on how Brexit affects the supply chain, so we’ve highlighted here three challenges for you and your flexible logistics partner to consider:
It was the battleground for most of Brexit’s debaters: Britain’s future trade. If near half of the UK’s exported goods travel through EU countries, then a new European trading relationship would have significant implications on demand - and logistics after Brexit.
Reduced trade with mainland Europe could lead to a smaller market for logistics; whereby companies choose not to ship from the UK but from other European countries instead.
If this is the case, then a flexible logistics partner with international touchpoints will limit the effect of Brexit on the supply chain of exported goods in Europe.
Moreover, if the UK negotiates new non-EU trade then a logistics partner with strong air and ocean freight forwarding would be a sensible choice.
- Border Controls
In recent years, efficiency and safety at border controls has been a keen talking point, as the situation in Calais featured fiercely in the media throughout this year.
Logistics after Brexit could be affected by stricter border controls for vehicles travelling from the UK. Here, without EU membership, we may find road haulage moves slower as requirements for documentation and checks increase.
If we look at how Brexit affects the supply chain, then, it’s important we start designing optimized delivery routes.
It’s hard to predict the extent to which freedom of movement and logistics will be affected, but a flexible logistics partner will be looking at how to rebuild or revisit distribution channels to ensure a streamlined service.
Brexit’s effect on both trade and border controls could result in lower levels of exports and higher trade tariffs within the EU. If this is the case, then exporters and their logistics partners might feel a financial hit.
Reduced hauliers’ margins - as efficiency is challenged with restricted freedom of movement – could be a further blow for logistics after Brexit.
Find a service that problem-solves, with solutions such as strategic dual-sourcing to reduce costs and counter additional duties.
It’s not clear when Brexit will come into effect. Despite the fog, we know that a flexible logistics partner with global reach and a full portfolio of transport services will have more stretch to face the challenges ahead so they can guarantee fast export logistics after Brexit.