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Brexit, Black Friday and Christmas warehousing crisis

Posted on 15.10.2019

With the rapidly approaching Brexit deadline of October 31st getting ever closer, the effects on the UK’s warehousing capacity is becoming troublesome for many businesses.

Stockpiling of many types of goods has been problematic enough, but add to this the seasonal demands of Black Friday and Christmas, and businesses of all types are struggling to cope with the demand for space.

Space, the final frontier

With an estimated £6.6 billion worth of goods stockpiled before the original March departure date, the delay in leaving Europe has shifted much of this requirement right into the timeframe of Black Friday and Christmas. When warehouses are normally reducing levels of general stock to hold seasonal items, the rescheduled October departure is creating a huge demand for storage.

The UK Warehousing Association reported reduced capacity in the warehousing and distribution centre network around large cities as companies prepared for disruption, while a January survey of warehouse owners in the UK showed almost 75% of warehouses were at maximum capacity in the runup to the original Brexit date in March.

In response to the government’s Operation Yellowhammer paper in September, British Retail Consortium (BRC) chief executive Helen Dickinson said:

“Warehousing availability will be limited as retailers prepare for Black Friday and Christmas, many fresh fruit and vegetables will be out of season in the UK, and imports will be hampered by disruption through the Channel Straits that could reduce flow by up to 60% for up to three months.”

At a time when demand for storage space is so high, being able to successfully manage warehousing and logistics is becoming a key component to managing a business through a tough period.

Keep calm and carry on importing

With further changes to import and export documentation, businesses are still finding themselves in a position of uncertainty over what to do post-Brexit. Unsure of how to manage their paperwork and warehousing, many businesses are looking for third-party partners to assist them, and with just weeks to go, time is becoming a critical factor in preventing disruption.

Working with an experienced logistics partner is more than just having some extra warehouse space available. The warehousing, distribution and inventory management can all be managed on your behalf, ensuring that your business is able to maintain its efficiency throughout such a huge change in the UK right on top of a busy seasonal period.

If you need assistance with European logistics and road transport, air freight or sea freight, together with help around documentation before, or after, the Brexit deadline; contact us to discuss your needs.