Brexit border chaos prompts truckers to turn away UK bookings

Europe’s largest truck owner warned it could turn away deliveries to the UK if Brexit triggers chaos at the border. If this were to become a reality, it could threaten UK supermarkets’ supplies of fresh produce.

Kristian Kaas Mortensen, an executive at Girteka Logistics, said he expects queues at the border that could stretch as far as 50 kilometers. Hold-ups could force his firm, which owns 7,500 trucks, as well as its rivals to limit bookings to the UK, he said in an interview.

The UK has told businesses to brace for disruption at the border next month, regardless of whether it signs a trade deal with the EU. In its worst-case scenario, it expects a queue of 7,000 trucks at the port of Dover. The government blames companies for not doing enough to prepare for the new customs checks and paperwork that will be needed after Dec. 31.

“What does it help to be prepared when you can’t even reach the territory?” Mortensen said. “Both the small guy and the big guy will in that case say ‘this looks like a situation it’s better to avoid for the next three to six months.’”

Girteka Logistics isn’t alone. The Road Haulage Association, an industry lobby group, says a number of EU hauliers aren’t taking bookings for deliveries to the UK in January. The cost of keeping trucks and their drivers waiting in line for 24 hours may not be worth the value of their contracts, according to the RHA.


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