Dismal December – Transport costs topped importers’ woes

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  Posted by: electime      14th February 2023

Britain’s beleaguered businesses say industrial action, energy prices and inflation were their chief concerns in December. The international delivery expert ParcelHero says importers were most challenged by transport costs, new paperwork and the exchange rates.

A new Government report reveals Britain’s businesses faced a torrid December. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Business Insights survey reveal industrial action was their main problem. Strikes and related action impacted one in six companies, with 25 per cent of affected businesses unable to obtain essential goods and 21 per cent losing access to key services.

The international delivery expert ParcelHero says that, looking ahead, the chief concern for one in five UK firms (19 per cent) is the ongoing impact of energy prices. This is followed by price inflation (16 per cent of businesses) and falling demand (13 per cent of firms).

However, it’s Britain’s beleaguered importers and exporters who are facing some of the most significant challenges. ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., says: ‘Around 24 per cent of the 40,000 UK businesses surveyed said they have imported and 19% have exported over the last 12 months.

‘While these doughty companies are not facing the same level of challenges that they were immediately post-Brexit, international trade still presents some major obstacles. In all, 41 per cent of those companies trading overseas reported they had experienced a significant challenge doing so; the most widely reported concern was rising transport costs. In total, a whopping 29.6 per cent of importers and 25.4 per cent of exporters cited transportation fees as their main concern for December compared to the previous month.

‘These increased transport costs were largely down to international delivery and logistics companies raising their rates to cover rising fuel bills and other price increases.

‘Next on global traders’ worry-lists came additional paperwork, impacting 27.1 per cent of importers and 25.1 per cent of exporters. Importers have told ParcelHero that proof of origin red tape, determining whether a product was manufactured solely in the EU or not, remains a major headache.

‘By December, exchange rates had settled somewhat from their scary Liz Truss-era ride, but they remained a concern: 25.1 per cent of importers and 24.3 per cent of exporters said they were an ongoing challenge.

‘Other post-Brexit difficulties continue to play a part. Customs duties and UK border disruption were named as ongoing issues. 19.8 per cent of Britain’s importers found Customs duties challenging, as did 15.8 per cent of exporters.

‘Disruption at UK borders was not entirely surprising, as UK border control officials walked off the job at the end of December. 12.9 per cent of importers and 9 per cent of exporters experienced increased issues.

‘Despite this list of negatives, however, the UK’s overall international trade situation continues to improve, and many companies are now preparing to enter this lucrative market. Companies planning to import for the first time can compare different carriers’ costs, discover vital Customs clearance information and learn more about UK Clearance Charges for dutiable shipments at https://www.parcelhero.com/en-gb/uk-courier-services