Amco - logistics for your world


Posted on 14.10.2020

Paul Andrews, Sales Director of AMCO reports that the Government has warned exporters into the EU could face queues of up to 7,000 trucks in Kent and a possible two day delay to trade once the transition period is over.

AMCO are aware of a letter from Michael Gove written to all in the Logistics and Freight industry, which states imports will be disrupted from the start of 2021. This now raises the prospect of a winter spike in Coronavirus resulting in a lack of port and border staff.

Micheal Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and responsible for no-deal planning, has written to logistics groups such as AMCO with the Government’s “reasonable worst-case scenario”.

Paul Andrews remembers a similar set of projections made for no-deal Brexit a year ago as part of what was known as Operation Yellowhammer with the Government stating this scenario is not a prediction but an illustration of what could be reasonably expected.

According to the document, in its “reasonable worst-case scenario”, there may be “maximum queues of 7,000 port bound trucks in Kent and associated maximum delays of up to two days, with both imports and exports being disrupted to a similar extent”, says Paul.

This is caused by up to 70% of vehicles travelling to the EU being unprepared for new border controls, including up to half on the busiest short strait route Dover to Calais and in the Eurotunnel.

With the EU expected to impose full goods controls on the UK, stopping all freight without the correct documentation at the end of the transition period on 1st January disruption is assumed to build in those first two weeks. Lasting up to three months or longer, the purpose of this stark communication from Micheal Gove is to try to get traders to act now.

They may be getting ready for new border formalities that could help mitigate the disruption, AMCO and companies alike have expressed concern that the Government is not fully prepared with the plans and systems in place to deal with post-brexit changes. Particularly against the difficult economic backdrop of the Coronavirus pandemic.

With sources raising the possibility that the UK would have to sign up to EU rules limiting driver hours in order to get access to EU roads, Mr Gove says the Government will introduce “smart freight IT services” enabling drivers and hauliers to complete a border readiness check with all information being shared with Kent police to ensure only compliant vehicles travel to the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel.

Paul Andrews concludes that the limited level of trader readiness is the real problem, “many of the changes are required not just because of the possibility of there not being a trade deal with the EU, but as a result of formally leaving the single market and customs union”.