Sunday, April 18, 2021

Manufacturers struggling with delays moving goods in and out of EU – research

UK manufacturers are still struggling to cope with crippling delays when moving goods in and out of the EU, new research has revealed.

According to Make UK, the manufacturer’s organisation, almost three-quarters (74%) of companies have experienced or are experiencing delays in the past 3 months.

1 in 3 (28%) are experiencing delays of between 1 to 2 weeks, while over half (51%) say this has led to increased costs.

Furthermore, more than a third (35%) have lost revenue with one in five losing potential business.

Manufacturers have cited various Government interventions that would help mitigate the impacts – from assistance with export documentation, better trained customs staff and clearer guidance on import/export paperwork.

Now, Britain’s manufacturers are calling on the Government to help them iron out delays and problems at ports in and out of the EU which is leading to lost business, increased costs and losing out on future orders.

The research showed that one in three companies are experiencing delays of between one to two weeks, with goods stuck in transit and increasing delays on shipments.

Many container ships will not stop in the UK at present, due to delays at British ports. This is resulting in goods bound for the UK being offloaded in EU ports, impacting heavily on production schedules and lead times with companies forced to make alternative and costly arrangements to have their orders delivered.

Businesses are also reporting that rules for movement of goods is being interpreted locally within the EU and also at UK ports, adding to already costly delays.

Over half of all companies surveyed (51%) said the delays are leading to increased costs, with almost three quarters have experienced or are still experiencing delays since the transition period ended on January 1st this year.

Over a third have lost revenue with one in five reporting they are losing out on future orders.

“Government needs to move smooth out difficulties at UK ports so that shipments can easily be delivered,” said Stephen Phipson, CEO Make UK.

“We are encouraged that Government is already working to train more high quality customs officials and to give more assistance with customs paperwork, but this needs to be driven forward at speed to give the quickest possible assistance to British companies already struggling to get back to normal as trade recovers from the COVID pandemic.

“Government should look to quickly get back around the table with our EU partners to find a way to mitigate against ongoing delays at the border and iron out different interpretations of the rules for movement of goods in separate member states.”

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