In a little over six months the United Kingdom plans to exit the European Common Market although to date there has been little or no movement between the EU governing body and the UK government on reaching a settlement for a “soft exit.” It is no wonder that companies this side and the other side of the English Channel are very concerned as to what the future will bring.
Another call for clarity
Carousel which is a leading European service logistics specialist recently completed a white paper entitled ‘Brexit and logistics: A catalyst for change and innovation?’ The research was done over a three-month period along with Analytiqa, a business intelligence and market analysis company and findings were the result of feedback given to Carousel by various agricultural, chemical, pharmaceutical and aerospace companies.
The result of the research was somewhat surprising in that just about half of the UK and German managers questioned were somewhat confident that they still have time to gear their supply chains in time before the Brexit kicks in.
However, in the same breath they are pleading for clarity for them to be able to do so, as emphasized by Franz-Joseph ‘FJ’ Miller, Chairman of the Carousel Board of Directors: "The results of the White Paper show that companies badly need full legal, political, and economic transparency in order to properly prepare for Brexit," he urged, addressing both London and Brussels. "The UK's exit from the EU is a grave disruptive factor resulting in new challenges the logistics sector must tackle. Mostly affected will be companies that have deficits in digitization.”
Many companies took part
Managers from 80 multinational organizations based in the UK and Germany gave their input to Carousel which itself runs ten strategic centres in locations throughout Europe which offer among others what they term as extensive and final-mile delivery options, in-night distribution, air and road line-hauls and field engineer and dealer services.
The full findings detailed in Carousel’s report are available on request.
Here, just a few of the key findings listed:
- 46% believe there’s still time to prepare for Brexit, whereas 18% do not but 50% of those questioned are ‘still feel in the dark about the specifics of what is required.’
- Only one out of five UK companies feel they have been fully informed on the consequences for them once Brexit is reality.
- The need for easy movement within the EU which will (may be) hampered by red tape is given as the first priority.
- Almost a third of the UK companies state that Brexit has prompted them to become more innovative for the future.
And, the list goes on whilst UK and EU politicians continue dithering over who does what first and time runs out. Maybe, although not officially possible, the easiest solution would be to just ignore Brexit and “carry on as usual.”
Graham Martin, CEO of Carousel states that: “Brexit is the latest in a long list of disruptive forces to have shaped the logistics space in recent years, and it’s positive to see that
organisations in the UK and Germany are ready to adapt to the challenges of Brexit."
Let’s hope that turns into fact and not fiction!
John Mc Donagh / Heiner Siegmund