Brexit has caused business uncertainty in the U.K. logistics industry, yet many companies still need to map out a contingency plan to prepare for volatile times ahead.
According to a survey by The Institute of Export & International Trade, many companies expect trading delays at the country’s ports due to new customs regulations. Despite this, only a few have contingency plans for the changes.
The Institute’s survey revealed that only seven percent of respondents plan to spend on customs-competency training and skills development.
While this is advisable, logistics service providers such as trucking companies should consider investing in automatic loading systems or even something as simple as a truck skate.
Joloda notes that these solutions would limit the impact of delays at ports. The few minutes spent on unloading and loading trucks might seem trivial, but saving precious time would be more necessary now that delivery times could be indirectly affected by new customs rules at ports.
Some of the changes in the customs rules at U.K. ports would involve more extensive inspections for fresh product. Freight industry officials believe that supplies in the country might fall, due to the so-called phytosanitary checks, aside from the regular customs inspection.
This could have a drastic impact on business. John Keefe, Getlink director of public affairs, said that the annual value of imported fruits and vegetables cost between £12 billion and £13 billion.
Export shipments cost around £8 billion each year, which means that the implications of the new customs rules are far more significant than higher commodity prices.
Logistics firms need to start planning how to comply with the anticipated customs policies post-Brexit. Aside from investing in training and skills development, companies should also look into beefing up their resources for maintaining timely and efficient deliveries.