Logistics companies in the UK remain concerned about the industry’s growth this year. This is specifically due to Brexit’s impact on the industry, including supplies of fresh produce from EU countries.
The uncertainty over the sector’s performance this year should prompt businesses to focus more on improving their efficiency. Some solutions can even be as simple as having more cargo skates to reduce shipment loading times to keep their business afloat.
Uncertain Year Ahead
A Freight Transport Association (FTA) survey of more than 500 freight and logistics businesses in the UK showed that most of them expressed concern for this year, following a steady performance in 2017. According to Elizabeth de Jong, FTA director of UK Policy, the impact of Brexit on trading and inflation has negated the rebound of activity across different modes of freight transportation.
Workforce issues served as the primary concern among 35% of the poll’s respondents. EU employees would likely find it more difficult to work in the UK post-Brexit, which would affect business for many logistics companies.
Industry members are particularly concerned over a disrupted supply of fruits and vegetables from other countries in Europe. This looming disruption stems from more extensive checks at ports in the UK, which could take as long as 48 hours for some phytosanitary inspections.
It is not only imported products that would be affected, but also export shipments of food staples. The country imports between £12 billion and £13 billion of products each year, while annual exports of fresh produce reach around £8 billion. These numbers prove that there should be a contingency plan to prevent a drastic change in trading in between ports.
The impact of Brexit has placed great uncertainty among logistics companies. Despite this, companies should still think of ways to ensure that their operations remain efficient. This would be possible by investing in tools and resources that enable faster deliveries.