International forwarder and 3PL C.H. Robinson’s regional director of Europe surface transportation, Chris Mills, said that, while the outcome is still uncertain, shippers should prepare for increased logistics costs, reduced capacity and more-complex customs procedures.
“If Brexit negotiations result in Britain not being part of the single market,” i.e., the free-flow of goods through the Eurozone, “tariffs could be applied to goods entering the U.K. from E.U. countries, forcing those goods to become more expensive,” Mills said. “If there is an increase in cost, haulers and logistics firms may need to pass this on to their customers.”
Mills also highlighted that both the U.K. and E.U. countries rely heavily on the import of natural resources, and said that the existing imbalance could be accentuated by Brexit-related strains.
“Over time, Brexit could create barriers at borders for the administration of trade in both directions,” he said. “If this happens, it could impact efficiency, because goods would move slower.”