The United Kingdom Warehousing Association held their Annual Parliamentary Lunch recently at the House of Lords. The CEO of the Warehousing Association, Peter Ward was in attendance and announced at the event that the UK logistics industry is prepared to work alongside the Government in order to make sure that the customs procedures put in place post-Brexit do not limit the efficiency of the supply chain.
The UKWA CEO made this statement at the Annual Lunch in response to the guest speaker at the event, Ben Fowler from HMRC. Ben outlined in his speech the government’s Customs Bill paper as well as the vision of HMRC for the future Customs arrangements. This speech gave those in attendance an indication about how the legislation covering the UK’s future customs, VAT and excise regimes could be framed.
As part of the Brexit planning, the Government has suggested that the creation of extra inland customs clearance depots may be required in order to ensure that capacity is freed up in and around UK ports. These new customs points could be created in some areas with the upgrade of already existing handling and distribution facilities which could then, in theory create a range of new opportunities for those working in the warehousing and logistics sector.
Peter Ward then went on to say that during Brexit we are breaking down a range of business processes across a number of industries as well as working practices that have been formed over the course of the past 40 years, which could create a number of challenges. However, the logistics industry is adaptable and has shown in the past that it is able to overcome challenges that have been caused by a shift in commercial and societal landscapes.
The members of the UKWA also hear about their organisation’s work with the British Industry, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation and the British Retail Consortium while addressing the growing labour and skills crisis. The Shortage of labour in the logistics industry was a problem before the referendum, although now it has been made worked by Brexit and the weakening of the pound, as this has led to an exodus of Eastern European labour.