The transportation of goods to and from the UK is by no means flawless. Especially with meat, plants and flowers it doesn’t always go well. This was reported by the Netherlands Transport and Logistics Interest Groups (TLN) and evofenedex to NU.nl. Preparations appear to be insufficient on the British side in particular.
The UK has also technically left the European Union since January 1, 2021. As a result, different rules apply to trade between the EU and the British. And not everyone is used to it yet, as it turns out. Documents are filled out incorrectly or incompletely, which means trucks sometimes remain stationary for a long time.
This has been noted, among other things, by the TLN Transport Association. A spokesman said: “Fortunately, we haven’t seen long traffic jams yet, but that is because it is still calm. We wonder what will happen when the situation gets busier.” “If the document is not filled out correctly, you will often immediately speak to the person who can help you. But I wonder if that is the case.”
Transport companies are afraid to send their drivers to the UK
The amount of freight is still limited because many companies were stockpiling in the run-up to Brexit. Plus, it is traditionally a lot quieter in January. The Coronavirus pandemic is also playing a role, with many carriers being afraid to send their drivers to the UK.
Although relatively quiet, a lot of things go wrong, especially with regard to agricultural products like meat, plants or flowers. This is probably because most of the changes have been made to transport these goods. In addition, haulers feel the preparation on the British side leaves something to be desired.
A TLN spokesperson said: “For example, when issuing a health certificate for meat, the UK inspectors make a mistake on a regular basis.” “For example, if they put six in a form, but there should actually be nine, then they cross out that six and add nine with a pen. But that’s not allowed.”
“The problem is that the driver will not have problems with this until later, for example if he wants to enter the Netherlands. The driver is not allowed to continue until the papers are arranged. But this may take days. Maybe in the meantime, the driver can still be escorted. To carry out other trips, but the truck or trailer may lose the tankers for several days. “
However, it is certainly not always the fault of British public services. The importer or exporter can make mistakes sometimes, also in the Netherlands. “If the shipping documents are not correct, it will stop completely,” TLN said. “This makes transportation to the UK less interesting.”
DB Schenker, one of the Netherlands’ largest logistics companies, decided earlier this month to temporarily stop accepting relocation requests to the UK. According to DB Schenker, only 10 percent of transfers went through without problems. Meanwhile, the company is again accepting applications from the UK as the destination.
The UK is not used to being a transit country
Not all goods transported to the other side of the North Sea have the UK as a final destination. Goods also go to Ireland, with the UK acting as a transit country. “They are not used to that,” says a spokeswoman for Evofenedex, which represents the logistical interests of trade and production companies. “There are cases where the carrier has to wait 48 hours to get a customs form. That is why you are seeing more and more companies bypassing the UK. They are taking the ferry that goes directly from the Netherlands or Belgium to Ireland. And vice versa.”
The association believes that in a number of cases it is related to startup problems. It is expected that some obstacles will disappear once companies and governments get used to the new situation.
However, an obstacle has been added since Tuesday. Drivers driving from the UK to the Netherlands must be able to show a rapid coronavirus test no more than 24 hours old. “Imagine the test was positive,” TLN says, “then as a driver, you should be in quarantine for days.” “This may make carriers more reluctant to take goods to the UK.”