As we edge ever nearer the date that Britain leaves the EU, what are the implications for the haulage industry? This is one of the main industries driving the economy and as one that needs to frequently cross borders to make deliveries – will it be harder for businesses to operate once we are no longer part of the European Union?
Trade is the main debate as we negotiate our terms of exiting the EU. Around 44% of UK exports are to the EU and on leaving, could this diminish that figure and negatively impact our GDP? A reduction in trade will inevitably lead to less demand for road haulage, even if the countries export rates remain the same. If Britain begins to operate trade deals with non-EU nations, they will most likely be further way and inaccessible by road. Thinking positively, any changes are likely to happen very slowly, and established trade routes and patterns don’t change quickly due to logistics and capacity.
If the free movement of people is restricted and stricter immigration rules brought about, there will undoubtedly be a decrease in the number of EU citizens able to work for UK businesses, including the haulage industry. This is one of the industries that relies significantly on employing European drivers. Thankfully, schemes are already in place to improve the recruitment and training of UK drivers through apprenticeship schemes. These are designed to encourage the next generation of drivers to learn the trade and work with the latest technology on-board trucks today, like a Truck Camera system designed for safety and better manoeuvrability. For more information about this technology, visit http://www.backwatch.co.uk/
More control over borders will inevitably impact the haulage industry who regularly follow routes that pass-through borders. This will result in far more administration for businesses which will be time-consuming and costly, with goods moving more slowly than before. At present, there is still great uncertainty about how this pan out. Whether Britain negotiates a deal to re-join the Free Trade area is yet to be seen.
It is highly probable that Brexit will increase the operating costs for those companies operating in haulage and logistics. Trade tariffs could increase the costs for exporters, a cost that is likely to passed on to the haulage industry. Any restrictions on movement will make deliveries slower, thus reducing the profit margins of these businesses even further.
A weaker pound could also see the cost of fuel rise. However, the greatest influences on fuel prices are the global prices and duty imposed by the British government. Neither of which are impacted by the decision to leave the EU.