LONDON (Reuters) – The volume of cargo moving between the UK and the European Union fell 38% in the third week of January compared with the same week last year, real-time truck movement data showed.
Hoarding, problems adapting to customs borders post-Brexit and the COVID-19 attack on the economy have all reduced the flow of goods moving between the UK and the EU even though it is stabilizing.
The data comes from Sixfold and Transporeon, Europe’s largest supply chain & logistics technology platform linking suppliers, retailers, shippers and more than 100,000 logistics service providers.
Employment prices for moving goods, particularly at major French-British intersections, remain above last year’s levels. Spot prices on the French to UK route rose 51% compared to the third quarter of last year, chosen to reflect the most normal level of trade in relation to the turbulence of COVID-19.
Shipping companies, companies that order truck drivers or other modes of transport to move goods on behalf of suppliers, also continue to deny jobs from companies they contract to serve when it comes to moving goods to the UK.
Drivers now need additional paperwork due to customs borders plus negative COVID tests when leaving the UK, driving many drivers away.
“Transport demand is slowly recovering but still sluggish – our monitoring of UK French border crossings, based on real-time visibility data by Sixfold, shows a significant volume drop compared to the same weeks in January 2020,” said Stephan Sieber, CEO of Transporeon.
The Port of Dover, Britain’s main port for truck deliveries, expects January trade to be slower following pre-Brexit stockpiling. It expects a return to normal seasonal average levels in late January or early February.
Reporting by Kate Holton, Editing by Paul Sandle and Andrew MacAskill
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