Brexit: Delays at ports and paperwork top concerns for hauliers

Increased waiting times at the border and time spent in admin in preparation to cross the border are amid the top concerns for hauliers following the Brexit deal, a study by the Haulage Exchange has found.

The company asked employees from 32 UK-based haulage companies for their insights on how Brexit has affected and will affect their business, as well as what they require to adapt to the changes following the end of Brexit transition period on January 1. 

When asked which impact will have the greatest impact on business, 94% of respondents said they are negatively impacted by the changes.

Three-quarters (75%) of UK haulage companies stated that increased waiting time at the border would impact their business the most, two-thirds (66%) said increased time spent in admin in preparation to cross the border and half (50%) of companies said they would be impacted by higher tariffs imposed on goods, the most.

Sam Wilkinson, chief revenue officer at the Transport Exchange Group, said: “With the Brexit transition period over, our focus is to ensure users of our market-leading Freight Exchange platforms, Courier Exchange and Haulage Exchange, can continue to carry goods to and from the EU without disruption.

“According to our survey, delays at ports and paperwork are front of mind for carriers.

"To ensure they can be prepared and avoid delays we are working with industry experts to provide educational content that will be signposted directly from within our platform.”

The survey also revealed that hauliers are facing varying impacts due to the Brexit transition, with 15% of haulage companies responding to the survey saying they have seen an increase in demand, employment opportunities have also been created, with 9% of haulage companies increasing employee numbers.

However, 21% of haulage companies said that they have lost business due to the impact of Brexit and 15% of companies said they are having to make redundancies.

Research from Logistics UK revealed that an underlying skills shortage is going to be severely impacted by Brexit

The Department for Transport (DfT) confirmed last year that all heavy goods vehicles (HGV) using the Short Straits channel crossings will need a permit to enter Kent from January 1, this year. 

Speaking on the findings, Peter Millichap, marketing director at Teletrac Navman, said: “There’s no doubt Brexit has placed immense pressure on British hauliers already facing the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic – the situation in Kent before Christmas was evident of this.

"There has been little transition period for operators to prepare, become familiar with and complete the necessary admin required, so it’s unsurprising that some are hiring to support with the scale of the task.

“Whilst it only goes some way to relieving the burden, we’ve been supporting our customers through the launch of our new TN360 platform; amongst the different features available across the platform is the ‘Easydocs’ App, which allows documents to be secured online in the cloud, making it easier for hauliers and their drivers to manage and access files.

"This is particularly useful for those moving goods across the channel who now need to hold extra paperwork in the cab to be compliant with the changes."

Full findings from the UK Hauliers Brexit Transition Survey can be found on the Haulage Exchange website: 

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