In just over a month the Brits will definitely leave the EU. Dutch logistics service providers are, therefore, becoming increasingly busy. That's also true for CSI-Fresh B.V. There, Ronald Hoekstra has to turn more and more businesses away. They're still approaching the company for help with Brexit preparations. "We're full," he says.
“We're very busy with various refrigerated transporters' final preparations. There's a lot of work involved. We have to go through their whole client list. We have to see what they have to deal with regarding export/import. We're spending a lot of time testing our automated processes too. These will soon be needed to clear the goods through customs."
CSI-Fresh B.V. has been very busy with Brexit preparations for two years already. But, they've recently noticed that many companies trading in the UK are only now considering what's going to change for them. Ronald doesn't dare say whether this could lead to delays on the ferry to the UK. "Portbase prevents unregistered lorries from entering the ferry site. However, it's difficult to estimate what this could mean for the port routes. I expect more Eurotunnel delays," says Ronald.
Besides being unaware, Ronald partly understands why Dutch businesses are not yet fully prepared for what's coming. "There's the idea that it won't be too bad. But, there's also still a lot of uncertainty about the deal negotiations. Will there or won't there be an agreement soon? Many rules and protocols are changing daily too. For example, every day, the British government updates Brexit regulations on its website."
"Companies also have to deal with a jumble of rules. I can imagine that people can no longer see the wood for the trees," says Hoekstra. . In this situation, you need to redesign the whole supply chain. You must involve all the parties, like customs and the Dutch Quality Control Bureau. Companies still assume a trade agreement doesn't require completed customs documents. That's incorrect. These are required in all cases."
January will, undoubtedly, be a hectically busy month for anyone who does trade with the UK. "Many general goods trading companies have already accumulated stock on the other side of the canal. Flowers and plants will be less likely to cross. Fortunately, we're not in the middle of the fruit and vegetable season in the Netherlands. However, fruit, vegetables, flowers, and plants will face the new situation's first hurdles. We're greatly anticipating how this will go. We've done our utmost to prepare. But, it remains the the responsibility of the many business owners," Ronald concludes.