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Monthly Archives: July 2016

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Freight shipping in Europe and beyond continues to grow

Whether you are an importer or an exporter in the United Kingdom, it is fair to say that you have been busy as 2016 progresses. While the UK still has a substantial trade deficit with the rest of Europe, the volume of trade is increasing substantially. In the first three months of the year imports to the UK increased by £2.7 billion while exports rose by £2.1 billion. When you consider that imports stand at the figure of £23.8 billion that is a lot of freight shipping!

While Britain tries to work out its exit strategy from Europe, trade between the UK and other member European countries continues apace, as we have witnessed here at Plexus Freight in addition to offering UK-wide express freight shipping services, we also do a tremendous amount of business which involves freight shipping to Italy, freight shipping to Portugal, freight shipping to Spain and also freight shipping to Germany. Beyond this, the UK food industry is responsible for freight shipping across the world too, as can be seen from the included image.

Having been in the freight shipping business for well over 20 years, but still a family-run business, Plexus Freight has witnessed a dramatic increase in the amount of two-way trade between Britain and other European countries since Britain became a member of the European Union. With the breakdown of frustrating cross-country borders and all the associated bureaucracy, express freight shipping allows this to be introduced to many aspects of other countries culture, both in terms of food as well as manufactured goods. While Britain may well be choosing to leave Europe, you cannot put the genie back in the bottle and irrespective of any bureaucratic changes, the UK will continue to do a lot of business with other European countries, especially when you consider that at the moment, the UK imports a quarter of its food from other European countries.

However, this is very much two-way traffic, if you’ll pardon the pun where road freight is concerned, and many of our UK-based clients take full advantage of our express freight shipping to other European countries in order to sell their produce. While here in Britain we have a fascination with goods from other countries, many European countries have a very similar interest in those from Britain, which is good news for all concerned.

If you already have a freight transporter but always have an eye on the bottom line, why not give us a call here at Plexus Freight as we think you might be pleasantly surprised just how competitive we can be on the costs of freight shipping to Spain, freight shipping to Portugal, freight shipping to Italy and freight shipping to Germany.

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Will road hauliers notice a difference in the atmosphere in Portugal?

This may seem like a strange question to ask, and perhaps we are asking it a little tongue in cheek, but aside from all the commotion caused by the U.K.’s Brexit referendum, the other major point of interest in Europe this last month has been footballs European Cup. Many a non-British European has been having a good laugh at England’s expense, wittily observing that with their failing to beat Iceland, England had successfully managed to exit Europe twice in the same week!

On a slightly more serious note, there are bound to be many, many questions asked as to how Britain is leaving the European Union will affect road transport, for example freight to Portugal. At this particular moment in time, Plexus Freight are keen to reassure all our clients that it is very much a case of business as usual, and it will be for quite some time to come. While the vote might have been in favour of a European accent this, logistically, cannot be an overnight event and it could take anywhere between two to four years for any change in legislation to take effect.

As a result, Plexus Freight has no plans to change anything with regard to any necessary rules, regulations or documentation. As for the longer-term effect, nobody can really say for certain what is likely to happen, but where trade is concerned, which has a very direct effect on the road haulage and freight transportation businesses, there is an interesting article in The Guardian newspaper on the potential impact of Brexit.

There will, in time, undoubtedly be changes in rules and regulations, and it is also impossible not to speculate on what will happen with regard to haulage costs, particularly if the pound continues to lose strength against the euro. Fortunately, road haulage can often be a dual-direction business and, as a result it could be possible for businesses connected with freight to Spain, freight to Italy or freight to Germany to negotiate beneficial contracts that will help to offset the weakening of the pound.

The best advice we can give you at the moment if you have any concerns concerning European haulage is to give us a call at Plexus Freight and allow us to put your mind at rest that all is not as disastrous as many would have you believe.

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Business as usual despite Brexit

As an international firm specialising in pan-European freight to Spain, freight to Portugal, freight to Italy and freight to Germany, all eyes were very much looking in the direction of the recent Brexit referendum result. It was interesting to read an article in Transport Operator on how Brexit could affect road transport and it would seem that along with the rest of the country, the transport industry has been polarised with larger transport companies being in favour of remaining in Europe, while owners of small companies preferred to leave.

To quote from the article “But operators expecting rapid and far-reaching relaxation of the laws that govern their transport businesses are likely to be disappointed

Here at Plexus Freight we have been in business long enough to remember back to 1993 and all the paperwork that was involved in cross-border transportation so if one thing is certain, it is the levels of bureaucracy in our business will certainly increase. There is, of course, the hope that a number of carnets to cross borders will be created to employed much of this, but with so much currently up in the air, nothing can be even remotely guaranteed.“Tachograph regulations, working time and the Driver CPC are, for example, all enshrined in UK law and are unlikely to be up for rapid reform. Similarly, it is most unlikely that truck manufacturers are likely to launch cheap new ‘Euro Zero’ trucks for the British market producing vast quantities of harmful pollution unhindered by EU regulation.”

Turning to the Chief Executive of the Road Haulage Association (RHA), Richard Burnett, he has classed the referendum result as an “earthquake moment” for the country, economy and road transport industry. He then went on to say that “I want to make it clear that your Association will be keeping close to government to ensure the best deal for UK road hauliers. Rest assured, we are already in the process of arranging meetings with relevant departmental ministers so that we can stress the industry’s needs and expectations.”

Where all our drivers at Plexus Freight are concerned, their personal safety is of paramount importance, so we were heartened to see that the road safety charity Brake, felt it was crucial that “life-saving regulations and standards are not just maintained but improved upon” while Britain starts the exit process. “Road safety and the battle for sustainable transport in the UK is currently assisted by European Commission regulations and requirements in a number of areas”., continuing: “Europe-wide links regarding traffic enforcement have never been stronger, helping the fight against unsafe and illegally operated commercial vehicles in particular, but also cross-border enforcement of driver licensing… alcohol and drug driving.”

If you are concerned about how Brexit may affect your European transport arrangements, please feel free to have a chat with anyone of us here at Plexus Freight

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