Impact of Brexit that we may potentially see on our business and traffic in/out of the UK.
I would say the biggest issue that we as freight forwarders are encountering is the lack of a deal. This means we are unable to fully prepare for how customs clearance may be undertaken. We are preparing as if there is to be a “no-deal Brexit” by training staff on customs programmes.
We have, however, experienced a high volume of enquiries about customs clearance of goods arriving into the UK from the EU & so this is a possible opportunity we hope to see for our business in the coming year. However, we have been unable to give solid advice & costings to shippers as we are still unaware of how customs clearance will work until the negotiations between the UK & EU have finished.
I would also say that in the transition period, we have experienced a higher volume of shipments within the EU due to shippers trying to “beat the Brexit deadline” and move goods before December 31st. This will most likely be offset by a downturn in early 2021 due to the higher costs involved due to new tariffs such as vat/duty costs which will apply between the UK to/from EU and also, something which is often overlooked, between UK and non-EU states. Since the UK will be operating under WTO terms, trading terms will be unfavourable to the UK and make it more costly to import/export to/from the UK which will be a worry particularly for shippers.
We hope, going forward, to see the UK strike as many free trade deals as possible to alleviate the damage that inevitably will be caused by Brexit and enable traffic to pass as smoothly as possible in/out of the UK although we are under no illusions that 2021 will be a very challenging year if this is not the case.
Director – Andrews Shipping & Forwarding Ltd