During the Webinar, Alan praised the logistics sector for its resilience, agility, and flexibility in reacting and adapting to both Covid and Brexit and expressed optimism for future opportunities.
Back in November 2020, as Brexit approached, experts at John Good Logistics were forecasting that short sea shipping could become the go-to post-Brexit logistics solution for many businesses looking to avoid the potential delays European road haulage could present at border crossings. For many, switching to short sea would not only remove the risk of delays, but could also bring financial and environmental benefits without sacrificing transit times.
Fast forward to April 2021, and that forecast has been confirmed as accurate, as demand for short sea shipping is on the increase, despite the reported disruptions to trade between the EU and UK at the beginning of the year.
“It is really quite astonishing to reflect on how much has happened in such a short space of time”
Addressing the post-Brexit landscape at the first ever Coastlink Live event on 22nd April 2021, Alan commented, “It is really quite astonishing to reflect on how much has happened in such a short space of time, the effects Brexit has had on businesses, some of the trends in short sea shipping as a result, the challenges to supply chains, and some of the opportunities as we look forward to the future.”
“Brexit, also helped by Covid, has really made businesses revaluate their traditional supply chains”
John Good Logistics have been working hard to help customers adapt their supply chains in the wake of Covid19 and Brexit, and have seen increased demand for warehousing and short sea shipping as many businesses shift from a “just in time” to a “just in case” model. Alan commented, “Brexit, also helped by Covid, has really made businesses revaluate their traditional supply chains. They recognised their fragility in many cases and identified a need to remove vulnerabilities and de-risk wherever possible. This has played somewhat into the hands of short sea container shipping.” He added, “As liner and port agent for a number of well-known short sea container operators in the UK we’ve seen first-hand the increase in container volumes.”
“There remain sizable challenges in supply chains around the implementation of a comprehensive customs clearance process”
Whilst this is positive news for the industry, there remain a number of challenges to supply chains. Alan’s presentation at the online seminar also highlighted a number of challenges still faced by businesses, not least around new customs regulations. Alan highlighted, “There remain sizable challenges in supply chains around the implementation of a comprehensive customs clearance process, and that brings with it an increased risk of exposure due to the various potential legal implications for getting it wrong as a result of the switch from the Union Customs Code to the Cross Border Trade Act 2018.”
During the Q&A Nick Lambert, co-founder of NLA International Ltd and moderator of the webinar, noted that Covid had not featured much during the event and asked speakers for their thoughts. Alan responded by highlighting that he believes this is because the logistics sector is so resilient, agile and flexible that Covid was “just another of those things” the industry had very quickly learned to adapt to and live with. His final comment was one of readiness for whatever the future brings, “Covid, from a sector point of view, is something that we’ve tackled head on, we’ve adapted to it. We’ve done the same with Brexit. What’s next?”
Visit coastlink.co.uk to watch the full online conference for free.
To find out more about switching your European road transport to short-sea and the positive impacts this would have for your supply chains, contact the John Good Logistics short-sea department.