The materials handling retailer Midland Pallet Trucks is backing the concerns of industry leaders who warn that Brexit border disruption will have a detrimental impact on the already overstretched warehousing industry and supply chain.
A letter penned by eight industry leaders, including the heads of the Road Haulage Association, Logistics UK and the United Kingdom Warehousing Association to minister Michael Gove, voiced concerns that preparations for a no-deal Brexit need to be stepped up to reduce the impact of border disruption have been voiced.
Trade between the UK and the EU will face new challenges once Britain finally leaves the EU, with even greater obstacles should no trade deal be agreed before the exit date set for the end of 2020.
This will result in additional administration at key transport ports and borders, as well as greater strain being placed on border infrastructure, IT systems and intermediary staff to help process large amounts of paperwork.
With UK businesses already stockpiling consumer goods from the EU in readiness for the final exit, many warehousing providers are already struggling to cope with the demands for space and the increase in labour required to keep operational wheels turning.
The UK warehousing sector has reported record take-up levels in Q2 with 13.3 million square feet of space largely driven by eCommerce and food retailers, and this is predicted to rise further with a pipeline of over £1.5 billion lying in wait for the next quarter.
Phil Chesworth, Managing Director of Midland Pallet Trucks said, “Protecting our supply chains is critical in this period of uncertainty, but stockpiling goods from the EU shouldn’t come at a cost to the health and safety of our warehouse workers.
“From regular training and comprehensive inductions for new staff to hand pallet trucks, lift tables and other pieces of vital materials handling equipment, it is critical that staff safety and productivity is maintained during these uncertain times, so I urge any warehouse manager to reassess their materials handling needs and anticipate greater stock and pallet volumes as we prepare to leave the EU.”