Supply Chain Delays Main Concern for UK Businesses Post Brexit

Delays to the supply chain are the biggest concern to UK businesses regarding the impact of Brexit on cross border trade, according to research carried out by Descartes Systems group.

Descartes commissioned a report from Sapio Research called “Is the UK Ready for Brexit”,to understand the readiness of UK businesses that trade with the EU for the end of the Brexit transition period on 31st December 2020. The research also looked at firms’ preparedness and the steps that have already been taken to prepare for the impact of Brexit on their supply chain.

The main finding was that 45% of companies surveyed were concerned about delays to the supply chain. However, the larger the organisation, the greater the concern regarding supply chain delays: 56% of supply chain managers in firms with over 1,000 employees are worried about delays to the supply chain.

The impact of such delays also raises serious concerns: two thirds (67%) of larger firms are very or extremely concerned about longer delays in their supply chain. Over two thirds (68%) of supply chain managers within healthcare are also concerned about supply chain delays. Tariff payments (40%) and customs declarations (40%) are the next highest concerns.

  • The main findings include:
  • Two thirds of businesses have had their Brexit preparations disrupted by Covid-19
  • Less than a quarter (23%) have high confidence in their ability to cope with the extra administrative burden of Brexit
  • Two thirds (67%) of large firms are very or extremely concerned about longer delays in their supply chain impacting the business post-Brexit
  • Fewer than one in five (18%) of UK businesses are prepared for a ‘no deal’ Brexit
  • Almost three quarters (72%) are concerned about the customs brokerage market’s capacity post-Brexit
  • Two fifths (40%) are concerned about customs declarations affecting their business post-Brexit

Pol Sweeney, VP sales and business manager UK, Descartes, says: “Membership of the EU has masked the complexities of customs for many, many businesses. Since the single market came into force there have been no customs formalities between the UK and EU for nearly 28 years, over which time international trade has grown and evolved significantly. The fact is that Brexit will have vast implications for any company importing or exporting out of the UK. Our research highlights the need for organisations to act now to ensure the right systems, processes and skills are in place in time.”

For the full research findings:


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