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Half of logistics companies haven't started Brexit scenario planning, CILT study finds

Published: 23 July 2019 - Rachel Tucker

With Boris Johnson being announced as the UK’s next prime minister today, promising to take the UK out of the EU on 31st October, only half of the UK’s logistics sector have started scenario planning for Brexit, a new joint report by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and Statista has found.

While queues of lorries at Dover and supply chain chaos are often cited as the biggest threats of Brexit to logistics — particularly in a no-deal scenario — only one in three logistics firms have established a team to work out their Brexit strategy, and only one in five have made use of external help. In part, this indecision may be down to the government not being clear on what Brexit will mean for the UK or the logistics industry in particular.

Only a few are taking proactive measures, with 18 per cent holding back from making investment decisions and 15% planning to move part of their company abroad. 13% admitted they haven’t taken any steps for Brexit.

These are the findings from CILT and Statista’s new study, entitled the UK Logistics Monitor 2019 report, which identifies current logistics developments and trends, while offering insights into the topics of HR, recruitment, technology and Brexit.

In terms of how leaving the EU will affect business, 39 per cent of logistics companies believe that Brexit will have a negative effect on day-to-day operations, while 32% believe that Brexit will negatively affect their company’s economic situation. Another 40% depict a high uncertainty regarding economic effects on their company.

Kevin Richardson, chief executive, CILT, said: “With so much uncertainty around what Brexit will mean for the supply chain sector, firms are understandably struggling to plan. The profession urgently needs clarity on how Brexit will affect operations.

“With the supply chain being such an important part of the UK economy, underpinning almost every other sector, the UK government needs to act quickly so that we can prepare accordingly.

“Whether a deal is agreed or not, there is a strong possibility that Brexit will cause months of severe disruption and CILT encourages all of its members to stay agile, hope for the best but prepare for the worst.”


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