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Brexit’s impact on the Logistics Industry

Cargo Express

The EU is the UK’s largest trading partner, accounting for 43% of all UK exports and 51% of all UK imports (Portico Customs).

Therefore, the initial impact of Brexit was difficult for the logistics industry and was felt at every stage of the logistics process, especially by UK and European transport companies. Supply-chains were disrupted, with freight to Europe delayed at British ports.

However, we are now in an adjustment period, adapting to transportation fees and the introduction of new restrictions on imported goods.

Below we have outlined the key changes and the top impacts of Brexit that your business needs to be aware of and consider.


As free trade ended between the UK and EU, there were many custom changes. This included changes to product standards and additional paperwork, with the National Audit Office estimating that 145,000 UK businesses would need to complete customs formalities for the first time in 2021 – meaning an additional 400 million customs declaration per year (Portico Customs).

We have also seen a huge supply-chain disruption, with heavy delays at British ports because of the new customs checks, causing a backlog of movement in major supply chains (as seen with grocery and manufacturing). However, these issues have eased after the initial adjustment period.

In addition, there have been changes in regulations, from EU trading standards to UK trading standards, such as changes to workers’ rights and consumer protection under different standards.


Road haulage is the dominant means of transporting goods within the UK, with most goods being imported and exported in this way.

Custom changes have triggered various implications for both British and European haulage companies, with new administration hurdles and mandatory border checks, which have previously resulted in delays at ports on the UK/EU border.

Although, according to a Press Release by the Port of Dover, from the beginning of February, the freight traffic travelling from Dover into Europe is back up to over 90% of volumes typical of this time of year, demonstrating that the logistics sector is adapting to the changes.


Many companies in preparation for the changes to come with leaving the EU had stockpiled, as seen within the Pharmaceutical industry.

For business that deal with short shelf-life stock, this wasn’t an option, causing a reduction in the availability of goods across the sector. Due to the uncertainty, many businesses have been forced to cut off sales with the EU, and trading elsewhere has resulted in additional costs to businesses.


Working with a logistics company can help your business as they specialise in the transportation of goods, with experience and expertise in providing a high quality, safe and efficient service.

See also: 5 tips for choosing the right logistics company.

Likewise, they are required to be aware of and understand the custom changes and will have spent time preparing for the impact of Brexit, and a familiarity with border delays and planning for this to reduce issues for customers.

Therefore, they are more equipped to meet your short- and long-term business needs, such as handling materials, order fulfilment, inventory management and outbound transportation.


Despite the difficulties in the logistics industry following Brexit, Cargo Express immediately experienced a huge uplift in UK to EU and EU to UK transportations due to a high customer demand, as suppliers were unable to support them with the new custom changes involved in transporting across the border.

We have gained many new customers who were seeking a new logistics provider who they could trust to transport their goods between the UK and EU, as their previous provider at let them down in a time of uncertainty and difficulty.


We have built on this uplift, finding a gap in the market for a quality and customer led logistics supplier for UK and EU customers.

We noticed that our customers, and others, had a huge issue trying to get their paperwork and processes together to get their goods moved across the border. So, we built up our team and procedures, and are now able to give our customers the full logistical package – to ensure that all goods are transported across the borders seamlessly.

By introducing our own Customs Comprehensive Guarantee (CCG), we can now support our customers more successfully with moving freight to and from Europe, and raise Transport Accompanying Documents (TAD’s) – commonly known as T1 documents. We do this on the Governments New Computerised Transit System (NCTS), so we can deliver the full logistical package, and have freight delivered not only to the EU, but globally.

We now work through HMRC’s computerised CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight), which is a system used to lodge Import and Export Declarations for authorisation. Alongside newly acquired knowledge and software to complete customers Safety and Security Declarations, also known as Entry Summary Declarations (ENS).

Finally, we have founded new relationships with various customs agents overseas, allowing us to make timely deliveries, avoid delays at customs and reduce mileage of vehicles arriving at customs offices.


Cargo Express is working hard to counteract the impacts of Brexit on the logistics industry to ensure that our customers goods are transported effectively, without delay.

We have vehicles travelling daily throughout Europe, delivering, and collecting various goods. We offer quick and effective responses to solutions and are constantly adapting during this adjustment period to make sure we deliver the best service to our customers.

We can help with services ranging from warehousing to logistics, including express global freight tracking and express delivery within the UK, with same day delivery available.

To find out more about the services we can offer, please get in touch with our experts.