Britain’s historical vote to leave the European Union has had a global impact. From stock prices to travel plans, a lot of people have been affected in some shape or form.
However, while some have barely felt the shift, those engaging in international shipping face significant changes.
The landmark decision to leave the EU has both positives and negatives. But, for many, the mystery surrounding Brexit is a constant source of stress. What does it mean for your business? Will it make your logistics more complicated?
If you ship goods internationally, we understand that this can be a troubling and confusing time.
At WTA, we want to help you enjoy streamlined and stress-free shipments. To help you keep on top of Brexit’s impact on your business, here are some main points of concern that you need to be aware of.
UK Port Usage by Container Lines
It stands to reason that for those importing or exporting from the UK, the ability to ship directly from the UK is preferred.
However, the recent Brexit move risks potentially isolating the UK politically, which could lead to a lack of direct vessel calls. As the UK no longer has a large UK-based container fleet to play the hero, this would result in shippers needing to rely on feeder services.
However, Drewry Maritime Research believes that container lines will continue to stop at Britain’s ports, despite the Brexit.
Due to the UK’s high demand for shipment services, they suggest that it is likely that mainline vessels will continue their calls into British ports.
In the short term, it is widely believed that the volume of shipments in and out of the United Kingdom will experience a lull. This can be expected, as the nation is re-establishing itself within the global market.
A large contributor to this relative decrease in trade volume is the instability and uncertainty of Britain's trade agreements. No longer amongst the EU, the UK must forge new alliances and agreements, which will undoubtedly impact the number of goods coming in and out of the country.
However, discovering new trade agreements isn’t necessarily a bad thing - they could, in fact, lead to more favourable shipping environments.
But, at this stage, it’s too early to tell whether the scales will fall negatively or positively. As the nation stabilises its relationships around the globe, more news surrounding trade agreements and tariffs will emerge.
Border Control and Customs
As is always the case with international shipping and logistics, border control and customs can pose a threat to the speed of your delivery. However, with Brexit, it is possible that the days of red tape and arduous documentation may return.
The potential for increased costs and decreased efficiency here is unfortunately very real. As these issues arise, they will have to be dealt with as soon as possible by the government. Some companies are already lobbying the UK government to ensure that the simplification of shipping process is on the agenda.
Ensuring the rapid clearance of your goods through customs and border control is essential to the success of your shipment.
The ability to safeguard your goods against undue stops or checks is a crucial step towards this.
While Brexit is a turbulent time for the UK, the increasingly globalised world we live in helps to encourage open borders and advantageous trade agreements.
However, if you are new to international shipping or don’t have the time to keep up to date with the ever-changing rules and regulations, consider hiring an expert to assist you.
At WTA, we are international trade and global logistics experts and specialise in complex customs clearance. If you would like to learn more about how we can streamline your shipping and customs processes, you can do so here.