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Brexit & The Influence It'll Have On The Haulage Industry
Monday, 7 January 2019 at 15:59
It's now been more than 2 years since Britain voted to leave the European Union became a reality. We've had plenty of time now to get used to the idea of leaving the EU, as well as the months of listening to politicians hashing out numerous deals they would cut when Britain leaves. While the political heads spend most of their time arguing about Brexit, things have started to change at a grassroots level. For some sectors, we have already passed the point of no return despite the fact that Britain has not yet left the EU.
Courier, Logistics & Haulage Disruptions
One of the main disruptions that have formed as a result of the Brexit situation is uncertainty regarding the country’s future. This is the situation for the majority of sectors, but it is being seen especially in the courier, logistics and haulage industry. Without any knowledge of what the Brexit deal will be, or if there will even be a deal, courier companies are unable to provide customers with prices for the period following March 2019. In fact, they are not even able to answer the most basic of questions from potential clients. As leaving the EU will impact trade routes, customs fees, taxes, and other types of haulage elements such as HGV refresher training, there is no way to determine how much prices and timescales will be influenced.
Early in the process of Brexit, the Freight Transport Association (also known as FTA) raised certain concerns regarding Britain’s chance to continue trading in the EU. The FTA presented the government with various means of making customs borders operate after Brexit calling it the ‘Keep Britain Trading’ initiative. This detailed the various solutions and resources available to handle any problems Brexit would bring.
However, a list of the eight demands presented in the list to ‘Keep Britain Trading’ not a single essential has progressed.
This final point is one of particular concern for many employees in the industry. While there is already a shortage of professional HGV drivers in Britain, the influx of 20,000 new drivers into the haulage industry each year continues to leave companies with a deficit in excess of 50,000 skilled drivers. The shortage of skills has been evident for over five years and, despite efforts to bring drivers into the profession, the haulage industry continues to face an employee shortage. If Brexit predicts a loss of approximately 40,000 haulage drivers, the driver shortage will increase by at least fifty per cent; therefore, resulting in a potential collapse of Britain’s business and trade infrastructure.
Brexit is pointing out various flaws in the country’s infrastructure resulting in many unpopular alterations. In the haulage industry, the changes are only in the beginning phases. A prediction of post-Brexit could see Britain’s roads being clogged with HGV’s attempting to cross EU borders since the new paperwork for lorries would mean a two-minute delay of each vehicle at the Dover crossing. Thousands of qualified HGV driving professionals would have to re-do their qualifications or turn down other work in the European Union as the EU would no longer recognise driving licenses from the UK.
Brexit has already begun to cause problems in the haulage industry, and the issues mentioned above will continue to worsen as month’s progress. Our hope is that the Freight Transport Association will work with the UK government to design a deal to maintain Britain’s trading, and not result in the collapse of the economic industry.