Brexit's impact on the logistics sector

Challenge-trg Group, the UK logistics recruitment and distribution company, has unveiled plans to prepare its staff for Brexit, as the extension deadline of Thursday 31 October fast approaches.

The company comments that as the UK waits with bated breath to see how Brexit will conclude, there is no doubt that whatever the outcome it will have a significant impact on logistics and warehousing businesses across the country.

Challenge-trg Group adds that, currently, there are concerns as to the impact on border control – Chancellor Sajid Javid, in a recent letter to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) chief executive Sir Jonathan Thompson, demanded that immediate action be taken and requested that HMRC recruit 5,000 more customs officials to address the issue.

It’s also not yet known what documentation or certificates drivers will need to be able to cross the border. As it stands, drivers only need to show their passport and boarding details, meaning that lorries get through in a matter of minutes. However, it’s expected that stricter controls will increase the waiting time.

It’s been estimated that even if lorries take an extra two minutes of processing at UK customs, it will cause significant delays, with potential 17-mile queues in Dover – or around a five-hour wait. The same is anticipated in Calais.

Richard Cropper, COO of Challenge-trg Group, said: “Brexit poses a real threat to the logistics industry, and whilst the timescale and true impact remain uncertain, we’re doing our best to ensure our business and its staff are prepared for the potential fallout. 

“Our greatest asset, as with most businesses, is our workforce, and with the current skills gap in the UK, we rely on recruiting experienced HGV drivers from overseas. As we don’t yet know how Brexit will affect the movement of EU nationals, we have encouraged all of our EU migrant workers to register their presence in the UK as part of the Home Office settlement scheme before 31st October – there are no guarantees that it won’t change in the event of a no-deal Brexit.”

Under the scheme, EU workers will be able to continue working in the UK after Brexit. If the application is approved, EU nationals and their families will be able to carry on living in the UK, and they will be given either ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status, depending on how long they have lived in the country.

“We have also introduced English lessons for our non-native speaking drivers and warehouse staff, to both upskill our staff and provide more effective services for our clients. We’re passionate about equipping our workers with new skills, which is why we have introduced the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) qualification to improve writing, reading and listening skills.” added Richard. 

Although no one can guarantee what will happen on 31st October, Challenge-trg Group continues to strive to provide the best possible service for its clients and support for its staff.

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