CIPS: Brexit and COVID-19 cause chaos at EU-UK customs
More than half of businesses importing and exporting goods between the EU and UK have faced delays since 1 January, when Britain officially left the bloc, a situation which is likely to get worse before it improves, according to the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).
Research conducted by CIPS found 60% of companies transporting goods into the UK from the EU had faced delays in the past three weeks, and more than third (37%) of the 185 UK and EU supply chain managers questioned had experienced impediments of several days. Importers on the other side of the channel are faring better; goods entering the EU from the UK were less likely to be hampered, though 45% reported facing delays this month.
Stringent new paperwork introduced at customs as a result of Brexit is the biggest sticking point, according to 27% of respondents, though many believe the additional layer of red tape is simply compounding ongoing hold-ups caused by COVID-19 safety measures and procedures - a necessary but time-consuming hurdle.
CIPS survey key findings:
- More than 50% of businesses importing and exporting goods between UK and EU face delays
- 60% experience EU-UK delays, 45% face UK-EU setback
- Nearly a quarter warn of stock shortages should situation continue
- 27% believe new Brexit paperwork is to blame, while 11% still see COVID-19 measures as biggest hurdle
Many supply chain managers had foreseen the delays ahead of the Brexit deadline and implemented measures to combat the initial wave. Regardless, the current situation could spell disaster for consumers.
Many respondents to the CIPS survey are concerned that, should the situation continue unchanged, the delays will begin to have a significant impact on their ability to meet demand. Almost a quarter (23%) forecast they will begin to run low on stock in the next few weeks - and the outlook is not bright. CIPS says as the backlog increases, so too will the intensity of delays.
“Delays will get worse before they get better”
“Worryingly, it is likely the delays at the border will get worse before they get better,” warns Dr John Glen, CIPS Economist. “Traffic through the border since January 1st has been low compared to historical levels, but with December stockpiles depleting it won’t be long before trade traffic increases and more pressure is placed on these new border processes.”
Glen says the delays may have far-reaching consequences for manufacturing industries, who will be forced to halt or slow production as the supply chain deals with the backlog.
“As the transportation of goods grows so will the queues, and businesses may be forced to limit or halt production to cope with any potential stock shortages
Kuehne+Nagel cuts carbon footprint by 70% for Honda China
Around 16,000 tonnes of CO2 has been cut from the supply chain of Honda's China-based manufacturing division through a road-to-rail transformation in partnership with logistics leader Kuehne+Nagel.
The programme was developed through KN Sincero, the joint venture between Swiss headquartered Kuehne+Nagel and Chinese automotive logistics firm Sincero, established in 2018.
KN Sincero worked with Honda China to develop an integrated solution to convert much of its domestic long-haul trucking to train lines, using regional hubs to improve supply chain performance and further reduce carbon emissions. The programme delivered consolidations as well as value-added services, including sorting, scanning, repackaging, GPS track and trace, and recyclable container management.
"Kuehne+Nagel has always been a supply chain partner that we can rely on, to help us improve our supply chain performance whilst also achieving our environmental goals,” said Mr. Jiang Hui and Mr. Takuji Kitamura, Joint General Manager of Wuhan Dong Hon, the logistics affiliate of Dongfong Honda Automotive.
After six months of shifting to the road-to-rail model, new supply chain reliability and efficiencies are expected to eradicate 16,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. The carbon savings represent an enormous 70% reduction in total.
"Automotive is one of the most important sectors in contract logistics, particularly in China, the world’s largest automotive market,” added Gianfranco Sgro, member of the Management Board of Kuehne + Nagel International AG, responsible for Contract Logistics. “I am glad that Kuehne+Nagel and Honda share a common vision of service, innovation and sustainability.”
Kuehne+Nagel’s Net Zero Carbon programme
Kuehne+Nagel announced its Net Zero Carbon programme in 2019 with a dual purpose to reduce CO2 output in its own logistics operations, as well as partnering with organisations to minimise their own impact on the planet. Kuehne+Nagel reached carbon neutrality globally in 2020 throughout its own, direct emissions, and is now focused on developing its capabilities to serve partners.
Dr. Detlef Trefzger, Chief Executive Officer of Kuehne+Nagel International AG, said the programme is “a package of measures to fight CO2 emissions and provide sustainable and innovative supply chain solutions – hand in hand with our suppliers and customers”.
As part of the initiative, Kuehne+Nagel established its own nature projects in Myanmar and New Zealand, and invested in ‘nature-based’ carbon dioxide compensation projects to strip harmful emissions from the environment. It is committed to being CO2 neutral for shipments in its network of transport suppliers by 2030.