How do you see Brexit impacting the haulage industry as a whole?
It’s not just how the actual act of Brexit will impact the haulage industry, it’s what companies will be doing and are doing before Brexit hits. There will be a significant volume increase going to Ireland as customers start to stock up. That means that come April, or whenever Brexit materializes, the volumes will start to drop off. Then there will be pressure rising to be able to service the Eastbound market from Ireland. The key immediate factor is what people are doing now ahead of Brexit rather than Brexit itself.
How long have you been preparing for Brexit?
I’ve been planning for about a year: I’ve been raising awareness with customers, doing research on what the new legislation will be, and updating my own knowledge. I’ve also talked to customers in regards to contingency planning.
What do you think will happen after Brexit?
Impact of Brexit is already happening. Some customers are adding significant stock – not just in Ireland but also in the UK – while others are having extra trailers brought in to be used as temporary storage as their warehouses are full. Due to a lack of certainty, people are trying to take a very conservative view, which means more stock, more short-term demand and less long-term planning.
Customs: what do you think may change there?
We have to wait and see the detail
What will happen if it’s a ‘No-Deal Brexit’?
Again we can only guess what is certain is that we will need to re-engineer our business to be able to cope with those changes.
Will anything change with the Northern Ireland backstop?
Clearly this is the key to unravelling the puzzle.
Is there anything else you would like to add about Brexit before we go?
Everyone can think too much about Brexit, so until we get the final details, all we can do is try and to the best of our ability be ready and have a contingency plan for any outcome. The key thing is that customers and the public are making their own decisions. There is clearly some form of panic buying, different people are stocking up on many things due to Brexit. The thing that’s very surprising is that there is a lot of UK to UK stock increases.