Supply chain mapping and facilities management
"The ease with which vehicles and their loads can pass through Dover and the French ports will be a big test of the post-Brexit arrangement," comments James Hookham, Deputy Chief Executive at the Freight Transport Association.
We've all heard the sound bytes mentioning the potential 'bottleneck scenario' at the Port of Dover and how we're going to need to create a number of lorry parks should the UK leave the negotiating table with a no-deal outcome. These are just rumours in the mix, but "with Ro-Ro [roll-on/roll-off] traffic growing at the current rates, getting clarification on how any future Customs procedures at Dover and elsewhere will work is the top priority for European logistics and supply chain managers in 2018," adds James.
Brexit talks seem to have taken an upturn recently, with Michel Barnier being quoted as saying that "a deal with the United Kingdom is 90 percent done" via CNBC. If a deal is near, then our fears of intensified customs checks may well be quelled. But, even with a deal in place, it is important to remember that businesses will still have to comply with new regulations and inspection standards in order to trade with the EU moving forward.
Peter Ward, CEO of the United Kingdom Warehousing Association adds, “currently, inspections must be conducted within the port boundary, but post-Brexit clearly this will be impractical. Such a change would bring opportunities for UKWA members and others to adapt existing premises to accommodate inspection facilities and bring online necessary capacity more quickly”.
With all of the above taken into consideration, this may well be the best time to map your existing supply chain in order to identify potential weaknesses in your operation. There is no harm in having a backup plan; for any potential scenario.
"The ease with which vehicles and their loads can pass through Dover and the French ports will be a big test of the post-Brexit arrangement."
- James Hookham,
Deputy Chief Executive, Freight Transport Association