UK freight and logistics companies are helping businesses around the country in an eleventh-hour rush to stockpile goods from the European Union.

With less than five weeks until the final Brexit deadline, when customs checks will be imposed, cross-border costs have been driven up, according to reports.

Increased demand for good from the continent has pushed prices up by a fifth in November and are still rising, private freight provider Jordon Freight told Reuters.

Other logistics companies have told Reuters there has been a surge in demand in recent weeks to import goods to Britain before expected disruption in January, with customs agents reporting overwhelming numbers of companies needing help with the new import rules.

Logistics and freight management company Xpediator PLC (LON:XPD) told Proactive this week that October was the most profitable month the company has ever had.

“We’ve seen strong demand in our key markets,” said Xpediator’s chief financial officer Robert Ross. “Our import services in Southampton has seen extremely strong demand in October that continued into November.

“I think that’s a trend that all UK warehousing business are seeing, everybody, particularly important services where you’ve got a lot of toys in there, are seeing that lots of people are shopping online and demand’s been very strong.”

Earlier this month, Clipper Logistics PLC (LON:CLG) said it has continued to see strong trading across its business in the year to date as the coronavirus pandemic accelerated a structural shift towards e-commerce.

Looking ahead, Clipper said the “good momentum” and its existing pipeline of new business opportunities are expected to provide the group with a “continuing strong performance into the second half of the financial year”.

Elsewhere in the logistics sector, Wincanton PLC (LON:WIN) said in September that its full-year profits are likely to be “materially ahead” of expectations and directors are in discussions with HMRC over an extension of an existing contract that would lead to the company managing inland border facilities at the end of the Brexit transition period.

This week, DX (Group) PLC (LON:DX.) also upgraded its full-year expectations as it said trading has continued to run ahead of the same period last year.

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