Brexit – What are we doing?

Regardless of your political views, which way you voted or even if you did, in one way or another we’re all going to be affected by it we just don’t know by how much.

It’s not something we openly discuss in the office mainly because of the many differing views and it’s a subject that really stirs beliefs and opinions.

But we can’t hide, it’s coming and we are being asked daily by our customers for our views on Brexit, how it will affect our business and the potential impact on trading with the EU.

Given there are so many unknowns it is difficult for us to take too much action without risking wasting a lot of time, effort and money.

We are fortunate that our customer base is split across a variety of industries and that they also use a number of different services from us whether that be Palletised distribution, warehousing and Logistics or International Freight.  So we’ve divided this overview into two sections International Freight and UK Operations.

International Freight

Importing and exporting goods after the Brexit decision is bound to have an impact on trade transactions between UK & EU nations, exactly how, is still unclear.

Despite recent political discussions/developments, there is still no clarity on how customs Duty/VAT will apply in relation to supplies to and from the EU once the full force of Brexit takes effect.

The UK Government are still negotiating a way forward which, as of yet, has not been confirmed.  Whilst there are many speculations, in the eventuality of no agreement being reached, the UK and EU would treat cross-border supplies in the same way they currently trade with countries outside of the EU.  This would mean changes to tariffs and an applicable import duty when importing from EU into the UK.  Until we reach the final stage of negotiations nothing can be confirmed.

There is also a possibility that the UK could become a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) under an arrangement, similar to that of Norway, which would give the UK partial access to the European Single Market but would not be part of the Customs Union.  As a result, there is a possibility we could be granted preferential duty treatment provided we meet certain evidential requirements.

All of the above is under negotiation/consideration by both the UK and the EU whilst a lot is speculation at this stage, we are working closely with our partners within the EU to ensure that once we know what the outcome is we are ready to take action quickly.

UK Operations

For our UK delivery operations our main concern would be over driver numbers, we do employ some EU nationals and depending on the deal reached they may return, it would also reduce the number of drivers coming in from the EU. In an industry that is already short of 55,000 HGV drivers, depending on the outcome, it could impact this situation further.

Whilst we do have EU drivers, 96% of our drivers are British Nationals but we are still doing as much as we can to attract and keep high quality drivers and staff.

What are we doing?:

  • We have encouraged our EU drivers to get full passports rather than rely on ID Cards – it is not certain that ID cards will work after Brexit.
  • We have increased pay rates for drivers to attract new and also keep our current drivers
  • We have invested in a staff reward scheme as an additional perk for employees
  • We are providing ongoing funded training to drivers
  • We have invested heavily this year in new vehicles that are not only more economical to run but also provide our HGV drivers with the best comfort and up to date vehicles
  • We are in discussions with our insurers regarding the reduction of time served, currently they restrict us to only employ drivers who have a minimum of 2 years’ experience, however, we are looking to reduce this to enable us to employ more freely
  • We are following industry news and taking recommendations from the RHA who are in regular talks with the government to assist hauliers and supply chain businesses.

We are hoping that by implementing the above it will help us to retain and attract high quality drivers to ensure minimal service disruption whatever happens.

Whichever services of ours you use, you can be assured that once we know the outcome of the Brexit deal, we will have more knowledge of how this will affect the UK Haulage and Freight Forwarding industry and in conjunction with speaking to our customers about what the implications are to them will enable us to put a more strategic plan in place.

In the meantime if you would like any more information on our plans or services please contact info@ltsglobalsolutions.com

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