Manufacturers still struggling to cope with delays moving goods in and out of EU

Logistics and Transport

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 UK manufacturing organisation Make UK 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. 

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

Government must also continue bring together a hauliers and logistics firms to work alongside Britain’s exporters and wider industry to find solutions to the issues currently plaguing the sector.