Fears over food shortages on supermarket shelves are growing as French and German delivery companies seem to be avoiding post-Brexit bureaucracy tape at UK ports in record numbers.
The number of haulage companies from Germany that are rejecting delivery contracts to the UK has more than doubled since the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December. French trucking firms are rejecting three times as many UK deliveries. This has led to around half the usual deliveries coming into the UK since the turn of the year.
Digital modelling firm Simul8, which has been evaluating additional burden Brexit red-tape will bring at UK ports, said fresh food was already going to waste as a result of delays. Frances Sneddon, chief technical officer at Simul8, said: “Unfortunately, we’re already beginning to see the cost of perishable items being left to waste due to the disruptions at ports and extended queue times for freight vehicles. Fruit, vegetables, seafood and meat are affected in the food industry, while the shelf life of medical supplies won’t allow for the extended waiting times that our model has predicted either.”
Ms Sneddon also pointed to issues being faced by manufacturers, which could also suffer supply shortages due to a lack of deliveries from the European Union into the UK: “Manufacturers that operate with just-in-time models could feel the fallout and need to adapt their operations to account for new contingencies and delays.”
German logistics giant DB Schenker has announced it was halting deliveries from the European Union to the UK, less than two weeks since the country officially left the EU customs union. The logistics company said the suspension stemmed from the lack of properly filled paperwork on deliveries due to Brexit. It did not say when the suspension would be lifted.
"Only around 10 percent of the deliveries assigned to DB Schenker are accompanied by complete and correct paperwork," DB Schenker said in a statement.
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