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Huge obstacles still to be negotiated on road to Brexit, FTA

The government’s technical notices for a No Deal Brexit released today will create an array of red tape and paperwork, and yet still do not provide answers to the key questions being asked by those responsible for moving the UK’s goods and services between the UK and Europe, according to FTA, the leading business group

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Huge obstacles still to be negotiated on road to Brexit, FTA

The government’s technical notices for a No Deal Brexit released today will create an array of red tape and paperwork, and yet still do not provide answers to the key questions being asked by those responsible for moving the UK’s goods and services between the UK and Europe, according to FTA, the leading business group.

Speaking after the release of the documentation today by the government’s Department for Exiting the EU, Pauline Bastidon, FTA’s Head of European Policy, urged negotiators to continue to press for a deal:

“While it is encouraging to finally see some of the government’s plans for a No Deal Brexit, which provide helpful clarifications in some areas, there are still key processes to be agreed if the UK logistics sector and “just in time” economy is to be protected,” says Ms Bastidon.  “The fact that the UK driving licence would only be accepted in partnership with an international driving permit would create delays and confusion for many operators, some of whom may not even be aware that they would require additional paperwork.  Of real concern is that these permits would not be available to purchase at every post office, (the papers suggest 2,500 outlets, rather than the full network), and will not be on sale until 1 February, leaving operators precious little time to undertake the necessary administration ahead of Brexit day itself.

“No detail has yet been provided on the issue of whether permits will be required by vehicles travelling to and from Europe – and time is marching on.  At this point, we expect only 1,224 permits to be made available to UK hauliers every year if they wish to travel to the European Union – that number pales into insignificance when you consider that the Port of Dover can handle up to 10,000 vehicle movements each day.  Without a significant improvement in the planned number of accepted permits for HGVs travelling across the border, there is a very real threat to the integrity of the UK’s supply chain, and delays and product shortages could be a reality while alternative suppliers are sourced and arranged.

“Unavoidable queues would quickly build up as hauliers wait for permits to be returned to the UK, and delays would be inevitable.  Hauliers will not be able to travel without the requisite documentation, so this must be front and centre for negotiations when they resume, while hauliers should prepare for additional levels of red tape and administrative tasks, and a learning period as they adapt to the new regimes.”

In addition to the need for an agreement on the number of road permits available to UK operators, there is still no clarification on how air freight will be able to move into and out of the UK without a new access agreement – an issue which many people are now well aware of.  But, as Ms Bastidon continues, the road freight issue has not yet become a priority for those responsible for the negotiations on both sides of the Channel, and without agreements with the EU as a whole, or individual countries, there could still be major delays to trade:

“Efforts to establish bilateral agreements on permits could be a solution for UK business, and FTA welcomes the government’s proposal to pursue these.  However, these would still impose unwelcome burdens and cost on British hauliers seeking to acquire the necessary permits and there is no reassurance in the No Deal papers that there would be sufficient to cover all transport moving to and fro across the UK’s borders.  There is still a large amount to do to keep Britain trading efficiently with its biggest customer, the EU and to suggest that these are processes which can be implemented swiftly would be to ignore the complexity of a huge administrative task, which is now being placed on the UK’s freight industry.

“The UK’s logistics sector is the beating heart of the economy, and one on which most businesses rely for goods, services, raw materials and ingredients.  Without secure, safe and timely logistics movements between the UK and the EU, on which many schools, hospitals, shops and other businesses have come to rely, they will find it difficult to source goods in the short to medium term, while new trading arrangements are confirmed.  That would create the very real risk of shortages and empty shelves.  The priority now must be to secure a new UK/EU road transport agreement – an even more urgent priority than a trade deal.  Without permits there will be no trucks – and without them, no trade.  No one voted for that outcome.”

Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods.  With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc.  A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.

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Freight Forwarding

BDP International enters US customs brokerage portfolio

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BDP International enters US customs brokerage portfolio. Image: Pixabay
BDP International enters US customs brokerage portfolio. Image: Pixabay
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BDP International, a leading privately owned global logistics and transportation solutions company has announced the acquisition of DJS International, a Dallas-based customs brokerage and freight forwarding company.

DJS provides customized logistics solutions to a diverse group of more than 800 long-tenured customers across all modes of transportation. As a proven leader in international trade, transportation and customs brokerage services, DJS will readily complement BDP’s diverse portfolio of logistics and global trade management solutions, with trade compliance and inbound logistics as key focus areas.

“The similarities between our two companies are astounding; both built from humble beginnings, family-owned and operated, strong customer relationships, and both expanding in prominence as major global players in the industry,” noted BDP Chairman & CEO, Rich Bolte. “Trade compliance continues to be filled with new complexities and challenges; it’s a major focus area for our customers and therefore it was a natural fit to extend our reach in this area of expertise. We’ve always had a significant presence in the US Gulf region but with DJS we can provide a wider array of specialized and customized solutions for our customers in this new normal world.”

DJS will operate as a subsidiary of BDP, guaranteeing access to BDP’s entire global network and portfolio of services. BDP and its partners will reap the benefits of DJS’s proven position as a leader in trade management. With this new partnership, BDP International and DJS customers can expect a unique service experience backed by a combined century of industry know-how, expertise, and experience.

“Our team at DJS is a family, and we pride ourselves on the notion of delivering service excellence to our customers – we adapt and fit to their ever-changing needs in this complex world,” noted David Meyer, DJS president and chief operating officer. “We wanted to partner with a company who had similar corporate values rooted in delivering service excellence and look forward to working with our 5000 new BDP family members while leveraging BDP’s technology, visibility, and global presence to continue helping our customers streamline and simplify their supply chains.”

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NZ Post plans to invest close to $170 million on infrastructure – starting with a new Wellington ‘super’ depot for parcels

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NZ Post plans to invest close to $170 million on infrastructure - starting with a new Wellington ‘super’ depot for parcels. Image: Flickr/ 70_musclecar_RT+6
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The investment programme begins with construction of a new ‘super depot’ for parcels, in Grenada, Wellington. The programme also includes a new processing centre in Wiri, Auckland, due to open in 2023, and an upgrade to the Southern Operations Centre in Christchurch in 2022.

The Wellington super depot is due to open in 2022. NZ Post plans to invest around $18 million in the latest global technology that will sort and scan parcels at a much faster rate than what we have now.

“We know that customers really want complete visibility of where their parcel is at all times of its journey – and this technology will improve our ability to do this,” says NZ Post Chief Executive, David Walsh. “We’re making this multi million dollar investment to support New Zealand businesses – both growing new businesses as well as major ecommerce giants.

“NZ Post is forecasting significant growth in the amount New Zealanders will buy online in the next decade – this was before the explosion in online shopping during the COVID-19 period. Last year online shopping in New Zealand grew 13% with almost 50% of adult New Zealanders now shopping online, and we are expecting this growth to continue. We’re pleased to be able to invest confidently in our future, to meet the growth in online shopping.

“The depot will have a 10440 square metre processing floor – about the size of a rugby field – with plenty of room for processing New Zealanders’ parcels.

“We are proud to be contributing to the Wellington regional economy over the next two years, with the projects main contractors, Aspec Construction Wellington LTD, expecting to employ around 350 people through 60 sub-contractors on this project,” says Ash Pama, the property owners’ representative.

During the COVID lockdown period, NZ Post received over 3.5 million parcels in the first two weeks of Alert Level 3. It had been planning for this quantity of parcels in 2023.

Supporting our commitment to be carbon neutral from 2030, the Wellington super depot will incorporate a range of environmentally sustainable design features and has also been designed to accommodate a large solar power installation once battery technology makes this a viable option for our operation.

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Port of Long Beach sees cargo increase

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Port of Long Beach sees cargo increase. Port of Long Beach
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Cargo shipments rose at the Port of Long Beach in May as the economic effects of COVID-19 started to subside.

Dockworkers and terminal operators moved 628,205 twenty-foot equivalent units of container cargo last month, a 9.5% increase from May 2019. Imports grew 7.6% to 312,590 TEUs, while exports climbed 11.6% to 134,556 TEUs. Empty containers headed back overseas jumped 11.4% to 181,060 TEUs.

The Port has moved 2,830,855 TEUs during the first five months of 2020, 5.9% down from the same period in 2019.

“Our strong numbers reflect the efforts of our Business Recovery Task Force, which is setting the path for efficient cargo movement and growth,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. “Our focus on operational excellence and world-class customer service will continue as we prioritize our industry-leading infrastructure development projects.”

“We aren’t out of the woods, but this is the gradual growth we have anticipated as the United States starts to rebound from the devastating economic impacts of COVID-19 and the trade war with China,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal.

As part of its recovery efforts, the Port of Long Beach has activated an internal Business Recovery Task Force that works with customers, industry partners, labor and government agencies to ensure terminal and supply chain operations continue without disruption, along with expediting shipments of crucial personal protective equipment.

May marked the first month in 2020 that cargo shipments rose at the nation’s second-busiest port, and followed seven consecutive months of declines attributed to the U.S.-China trade dispute and the COVID-19 epidemic.

Manufacturing in China continues to rebound from the effects of COVID-19, while demand for furniture, digital products and home improvement goods is increasing in the United States.

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