Business, Logistics

Brexit could be good news for warehousemen, says UKWA chief

[ October 16, 2017   //   ]

Government suggestions that extra inland customs clearance depots may need to be established to free up capacity in and around UK ports could create opportunities for the warehousing and logistics sector, United Kingdom Warehousing Association’s (UKWA) chief executive Peter Ward told parliamentarians.

Speaking at the Association’s Annual Parliamentary Lunch at the House of Lords, was responding to guest speaker, Ben Fowler from HMRC, who outlined the government’s recently published Customs Bill paper and HMRC’s vision for future Customs arrangements.

Ward commented that any additional intervention points in the supply chain are likely to be mitigated by the buffering of stock, which will result in the call for more warehousing space, echoing the notion that Brexit may be good news for the logistics sector.

Peter Ward commented: “Whilst Brexit means we are, in effect dismantling the business processes and working practices that have evolved over 40 years, which will clearly present challenges, the logistics industry has shown time and again that it is more than capable of responding to the issues thrown up by the constantly shifting commercial and societal landscapes, and I am sure that this time will be no different.”

UKWA members also heard about UKWA’s work with the Confederation of British Industry, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation and the British Retail Consortium in addressing the worsening labour and skills crisis.

“Shortage of labour was a problem for the logistics industry before the referendum,” Peter Ward said, “and it has been exacerbated by Brexit and the weaker pound which is prompting an exodus of the Eastern European labour on which our sector has relied for some years”.