The transportation of goods to and from the United Kingdom is by no means impeccable. Especially with meat, plants and flowers it doesn’t always go well. The Netherlands Transport and Logistics Interest Groups (TLN) and evofenedex are informing NU.nl. Preparations, especially on the British side, seem insufficient.
The UK also technically left the European Union since January 1, 2021. As a result, different rules apply to trade between the EU and the British. Not everyone is used to it yet, it turns out. Documents are incorrectly or incomplete, which causes trucks to stop sometimes for a long time.
This has been noted, among other things, by the TLN Transport Association. “Fortunately we haven’t seen long traffic jams yet, but that is because the situation is still calm. We wonder what will happen when the situation gets busier,” a spokesman said. “If a document is not filled out correctly, you’ll often immediately speak to someone who can help you. But I wonder if that will be the case in the future.”
Transport companies are afraid to send their drivers to the UK
The amount of freight remains limited because many companies were stockpiling in the run-up to Brexit. Plus, it is traditionally a lot quieter in January. The Coronavirus pandemic is also playing a role, as many carriers are afraid to send their drivers to the UK.
Although relatively calm, there are a lot of bad things, especially when it comes to agricultural products like meat, plants or flowers. This is probably because most of the changes have been made to transport these goods. Plus, the carriers feel the preparation on the British side leaves something to be desired.
A TLN spokesperson said: “For example, when issuing a health certificate for meat, the UK inspectorate makes a mistake regularly.” “For example, if they put six in a form, but there should actually be nine, they cross out that six and add nine with a pen. But that’s not allowed.
“The problem is that the driver will not have problems with this until later, for example if he wants to enter the Netherlands. The driver is not allowed to proceed until the papers are ready. But this may take days. It may still be possible to pick up the driver in the meantime. For other trips, the truck or trailer may lose the tankers for several days. “
However, it is certainly not always the fault of the British government’s services. The importer or exporter can make mistakes sometimes, also in the Netherlands. According to TLN, “If the shipping documents are not correct, it will stop completely”. “This makes transportation to the UK less interesting.”
DB Schenker, one of the largest logistics companies in the Netherlands, decided earlier this month to temporarily stop accepting relocation requests to the UK. According to DB Schenker, only 10 percent of transfers went through without problems. Meanwhile, the company is again accepting applications from the UK as the destination.
The UK is not used to being a transit country
Not all goods transported to the other side of the North Sea have the UK as a final destination. The goods also go to Ireland, with the UK acting as a transit country. “They are not used to that,” says a spokeswoman for Evofenedex, which represents the logistical interests of trade and production companies. “There are cases where the carrier has to wait 48 hours to get a customs form. That is why you see more and more companies bypassing the United Kingdom. Then taking the ferry that goes directly from the Netherlands or Belgium to Ireland. And vice versa.”
The association believes that in a number of cases it is related to startup problems. It is expected that some of the obstacles will disappear once companies and governments get used to the new situation.
Obstacle has been added since Tuesday. Drivers driving from the UK to the Netherlands must be able to show a rapid Coronavirus test no more than 24 hours old. “Imagine this test is positive,” TLN says, “then as a driver, you should be in quarantine for days.” “This may make carriers more reluctant to take goods to the UK.”
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