The closing of borders by our neighbour France has been highly disruptive for UK logistics operators and stranded drivers, many of whom spent their Christmas stood on a motorway.
For diamond, the closure of the docks at Dover has led to the cancellation of all European by-land deliveries. Our services contracted by 20% a week before Christmas. Not a position we – or our fellow operators – wanted to be in. We’re continuing to see delays, which will last well into the New Year.
France over-reacted to the COVID-19 crisis. The Netherlands deemed it important to keep freight going, they kept access to UK land and haulage routes open. So was it really a reaction to COVID-19, or something else? Is it just coincidence that a Brexit deal was on the verge of being struck?
Thousands of lorry drivers didn’t make it home for Christmas; a horrific way to treat keyworkers.
We’re set to see a shortage of goods and supply material in the UK. DFS for example told the Financial Times that instead of delivering sofas in 2 – 6 weeks it will now be 10 – 14 weeks.
Critical parts will not reach automotive supply chains just-in-time (JIT). And where will this leave many businesses? Out-of-time.
The delays do make a case for UK storage and fulfilment as the JIT philosophy fails us and UK-based inventory proves problematic. Stocking locally in micro-fulfilment centres – especially if Europe is part of your supply chain – looks like a smart move right now.
The delays have highlighted what’s to come. As we transition during the next phase of Brexit, the cost of European parts and products will go up, as driver drops are reduced and there’s a greater demand for documentation at our ports.
At diamond we’ll be leaning on our despatchlab technology – which we designed ourselves – to manage the situation, and to make smart changes as they occur.
To find out more about UK storage and fulfilment options with diamond, click here to get in touch.
Sales contact – Emma.Whitaker@diamondlogistics.co.uk