Materials handling firm, Midland Pallet Trucks says that the significant stockpiling trend witnessed earlier in the year is ‘far from over’ as retailers, warehouses and manufacturers once again step up post-Brexit preparations.
Signs of panic buying were seen earlier this year as businesses began increasing their imports to negate the need to pay import fees under a ‘hard’ Brexit. The trend is understood to have started in earnest prior to the original Brexit date of 29 March, and continued beyond the second anticipated date of 12 April. During this time, many businesses were vocal about the rise in activity, with familiar and influential brands such as Greggs confirming that they were stockpiling long life foods and essential equipment to avoid price hikes after the UK leaves the EU.
At the time, Midland Pallet Trucks, which provides equipment such as manual stacker trucks, lift tables, and hand pallet trucks, voiced concerns that businesses were panicking, rather than preparing, and that short term order fulfilment would be insufficient to effectively handle Brexit. Instead, the firm advised local organisations to focus on preparing for Brexit in a way that would deliver greater long term value.
“Brexit is scheduled to take place less than two months before Christmas, so it’s obviously very natural that retailers who rely on goods from the EU will be keen to secure those items that are typically in demand over the holidays, such as alcohol, at fee-free prices,” says Midland Pallet Trucks Managing Director Phil Chesworth. “Clearly, stockpiling is far from over, but we are keen to reiterate that stockpiling is a plaster on a wound, and that we must look at longer term solutions to prepare for whatever situations we may find ourselves navigating post-Brexit.”
While the original stockpiling run resulted in a small yet positive boost to the UK economy, experts are predicting that this new burst of activity will fail to have the same effect with warehouses at capacity. This means that the volume of goods that warehouses can reasonably and safely take in during round two is severely limited, making the same sort of economic boost that we saw at the start of the year unlikely.