Little concern among European logistics managers about a hard Brexit

LONDON/MUNICH: May 2019. Despite the resignation of Theresa May as UK prime minister and her expected replacement by the apparently European-adverse Boris Johnson, logistics industry executives seem “fairly at ease” about a future Brexit according to Messe München, organisers of the upcoming transport logistic expo from June 04-07.

Citing a recent survey of 2,680 trade fair participants, “38 percent of respondents said they were prepared for all eventualities, 50 percent are not directly affected and only 12 percent fear massive adverse effects from a hard Brexit,” said Stefan Rummel, Messe München managing director.

Rummel noted Dachser is one of many European companies that have been preparing for any eventuality: “Brexit is certainly not an everyday challenge. However, we have taken all the measures at our disposal to ensure that the transport of goods from and to the United Kingdom will continue as smoothly as possible. No matter what happens, goods must flow,” declared Steffen Weisse, the company’s head of Sales for European Logistics, North Central Europe.

According to Eurostat, approximately 8.8 percent of Dutch exports went to Britain in 2017. Brexit is expected to require an additional 10,500 ships to be inspected each year at the Port of Rotterdam that has spent €1.5 million on preparations including more Customs, veterinary and food control staff. The port company estimates that some 4,200 companies will be affected.

“All these preparations are necessary to mitigate as much as possible the negative consequences of Brexit. Yet, these preparations are only effective if everyone in the logistics chain cooperates,” declared External Affairs manager Mark van Dijk. “This is a prerequisite to smooth trade flows that we never cease to stress.”