The extension of the Brexit deadline to the end of January 2021 will relieve some of the pressure on the UK logistics sector as the industry enters one of its busiest times of the year, says UKWA.
The Association’s CEO, Peter Ward, comments: “With retailers gearing up for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas, the previous date set for Britain’s EU departure – October 31st – coincided with peak season for many UKWA members when at this time of year UK warehouse and distribution facilities are operating close to full capacity. With Brexit now coming after peak season, the extended deadline should allow our members to deliver Christmas without the added risk and impacts of a simultaneous day one no deal scenario.”
Ward also says the latest Brexit delay will have minimal effect, “those companies that prepared for Brexit did so in run up to March deadline. Data collected by UKWA in September showed little evidence of further stockpiling after April in preparation for October, and we expect little to change in this next period, especially with the threat of a cliff-edge fall-out significantly reduced”
UKWA has consistently highlighted that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, whatever the outcome, and whatever the timing, is likely to drive a long term demand for additional warehousing Should the UK divert to WTO terms for its trade to and from the EU, some 200 million extra customs declarations will be required, with border checks on animal and plant imports. Such interruptions in the supply chain will naturally lead companies to hold more inventory in their supply chain and therefore more capacity will be required.