FELIXSTOWE, England (Reuters) -

In just one month of post-Brexit trading, British logistics expert Jon Swallow has seen exports dive, prices rise and customers so desperate that he is practically offering a counselling service.

Swallow is one of thousands of freight forwarders and customs brokers based around Britain’s biggest ports who have described the overnight introduction of a full customs border as akin to the country placing economic sanctions on itself.
Britain’s New Year’s Eve departure from the European Union’s orbit after 47 years of membership means exporters must now provide customs and safety declarations, health checks and rules of origin details to trade with its biggest partner.
We are now at a disadvantage to people trading within the EU,” Swallow, a co-director of Jordon Freight, told Reuters in his office next to the vast cranes that tower over Felixstowe docks, Britain’s biggest container port, on the south east coast of England.
“We’re a very fast-paced business, but now we’re just like walking through mud. There’s just paperwork everywhere.”
Those companies that trade goods between Britain and the bloc are paying a price, particularly small firms.
While the EU applied full checks on goods entering from Britain, the UK is phasing in its own customs rules for imports over six months
Previously Swallow’s firm, which moves up to 10,000 truck loads across Europe a year, would have handled an equal measure of imports and exports
In January his exports have all but disappeared and the price of bringing goods in has jumped.
He said many EU drivers were adding 400 pounds ($550) to the cost of driving into Britain so they were covered if they returned without any goods. The industry estimates
"65%" of trucks going back to the EU are empty.
“We have calls daily at the moment with people, desperate,” Swallow said. “They need to get their goods moved before the buyer decides to go somewhere else. (But) it’s too much. They just can’t comprehend all that needs to happen.”
As Swallow was speaking, a member of staff was slowly talking a customer through the steps now required, including producing commercial invoices, a packing list, an export accompanying document, a goods movement reference and more. Make UK, the manufacturing trade body, said 60%
of 189 companies it surveyed say they have suffered “significant disruption” despite having prepared themselves for Brexit.
Swallow said bigger firms had generally performed better by throwing people and money at the problem.
He is now worried about how companies will fare with full import checks.
“The game has changed,” he said, adding that UK Plc had been based on the free flowing movement of goods. “This is a hard Brexit, this is as hard as you can get without no deal" https://t.co/ocMWwlrLJr

More from Michael M. 🇨🇭🇳🇴🇮🇸🇱🇮🇬🇧

Brexit also brings UK pork sector to standstill. Surprise eh? @RichardAENorth 🙄
UK pork processors are experiencing significant issues in exporting products to the EU, which has already brought part of the industry to a complete standstill, risking knock-on impacts on farm.


The widely seen footage of overzealous Dutch (*my edit: "no they were not"*) inspection officials confiscating ham sandwiches transported by British hauliers is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the UK pig sector is concerned.
The NPA’s processor members have reported that

excessive (*my edit: only for non-EU members*) bureaucracy associated with paperwork requirements are causing delays at Dover, Calais and other ports. With pork being a perishable product, these delays are making UK shipments unattractive to buyers in the EU, forcing processors

to reject shipments and cancel future orders.
Despite the trade deal agreed between the EU & UK just before Christmas, the UK’s formal departure from the EU Customs Union and Single Market was always going to mean additional checks, new labelling and certification requirements

and delays at ports. While the full overall impact of the new rules is yet to be felt, as UK export volumes remain lower than normal for the time of year, the UK pig sector is already feeling the effect. Processors have reported a number of issues, including:
Whatever the analyses, I'll never understand the efforts, taxpayers money & substantial pain to come to make the disunited or broken apart UK, face so many more difficulties in trading with its neighbours; even within its own territory & to be so much poorer & less secure

with fewer rights for Brits in their own country & across the EU/EEA.
And that there is not a lot more official opposition/media attention & anger about it
.
Even more so when I read the following from 2010 by the "Taxpayers Alliance"

@bakerstherald Thanks for bringing this to my attention when the MSM - for whatever reason - is so noticably reticent to expose these would be quickly evolving (sounds better/less sinister)


From 2010
"As long as anyone can remember, Britain's old industrial heartlands have been a disaster area. Once they'd lost their traditional industries like steel and shipbuilding, something very bad happened to them - they seemed to lose the will to live. And as we've blogged

many times (eg here), despite decades of political promises and billions of tax-funded support, they have never managed to leave the high dependency unit. For example, when last sighted - in 2007-08 at the height of the biggest economic boom the world has ever seen -

More from Brexit

You May Also Like