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Brexit uncertainty far from over says logistics expert

[ January 7, 2020   //   ]

The change in the Parliamentary arithmetic makes Britain’s exit from the EU all but certain but with uncertainty over the chances of securing a trade deal before the end of 2020 that will avoid the need to adopt WTO terms, it is essential that businesses take all possible steps to mitigate the effects, says sales director of Walker Logistics, William Walker.

He says that regardless of whether or not a ‘no deal’ Brexit can be avoided, some increase in customs administration and delays at the ports are inevitable, at least in the short term, he says, adding: “As the new Government strives to ‘get Brexit done’ it seems likely that the confusion surrounding the movement of goods between the UK and Europe after Brexit will be with us for some time yet and talk of blockages and delays at UK entry points isn’t likely to go away.”

Companies can though adopt a dual storage solution to split inventory between the UK and mainland Europe, he suggests. This could be along the lines of the deal that Walker Logistics signed with German-owned international sales and fulfillment services provider Limal 40 miles north of Hamburg.

The deal allows Walker clients to hold stock at Limal’s storage facilities, use their in-house sales platforms and fulfill orders bound for mainland Europe from these sites. In a reciprocal arrangement, it also means that Limal’s client base will be able to use Walker’s 250,000 sq ft multi-user storage facilities to serve the UK market.

Walker is currently in negotiations with other European fulfillment specialists to provide Europe-wide supply chain services after Brexit.

William Walker adds: “Of course, Brexit is forcing companies that export in to the UK to rethink their supply chain strategies too. Indeed, we are noticing a trend – particularly among American-owned companies – to appoint UK-based fulfillment specialists to manage the storage and delivery of orders for the British market. Previously these companies have located their European inventory in a facility in, for instance, Holland, but Brexit concerns have prompted them to seek dedicated UK-based supply chain support and Walker has successfully managed a number of these migrations in recent months.”

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