The 31st January this year (2020) is a landmark day for the UK, as we progress with the legal withdrawal from the European Union (EU) membership, and no matter whether you view this as a celebration or not, or just glad that this milestone signals and represents the start of some big changes, in our future business and how we will trade with our close neighbours in Europe and beyond.
With change brings new opportunities as we always learn in business, especially for dynamic and entrepreneurial businesses such as ours and for many of our customers and partners also.
Twente Express has been planning for all considered Brexit outcomes since early 2017. With customers located both in the UK and throughout the Benelux region, and with goods moving on our own dedicated scheduled services to and from the UK, we have invested significant management time in working with independent experts, suppliers and customers, to understand the post Brexit requirements of authorities in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium and France, in order to support and maintain our Benelux premium services without disruption.
Although full details of all cross border processes are not yet available, businesses are advised that there will be no change until 31st December 2020 in terms of trade with the EU or the rest of the world, however, we are advised to start preparing for “life outside of the EU” and we at Twente Express are confident that we are business ready for all likely outcomes, in the interest of our customers’ continued service surety and our expert Twente Express delivery!
A summary of the steps we have taken so far
- We have been working directly with experienced Customs advisers with many years of service in senior roles in multinational express logistics operations. These advisers are now retained by the company to advise our Board of Directors and Senior Team on an ongoing basis
- We have invested significantly in IT, staff recruitment and training giving us the in-house capability to complete all UK Customs entry requirements ourselves. By the time we reach Brexit Day all staff in all of our International Teams will be fully trained in the necessary customs processes and procedures to support our customers. Once the nature of the UK – EU Trade Deal is confirmed it is highly likely that we will form a dedicated in-house customs team and already have identified suitably trained staff in other roles in the company ready to form this team
- We will continue to operate via Eurotunnel driving through the night via France to our destinations in the Netherlands and Belgium utilising the Common Transit Convention (CTC) to avoid delays at the borders. The return journey will again cross France before entering the UK in Folkestone. Subject to border processes our schedules will remain unchanged either side of Brexit
- We have successfully applied for Authorised Consignor Status for our Brownhills depot meaning we can raise NCTS Transit documents ourselves and avoid the (anticipated) lengthy queues for this service in the Kent area. We have authorised destinations via our long-standing partner network in the Benelux to receive our inbound groupage trailers ahead of customs formalities being completed locally and goods being delivered.
- Freight will continue to be collected into these same Benelux locations ahead of customs formalities being completed by our partners prior to goods being loaded to our trailers for the return journey back to Brownhills which again can be completed under NCTS Transit to minimise cross border delays.
- We have identified alternative routes via of all of the main east coast ports directly with Rotterdam and Zeebrugge in the event that the Kent / Calais areas see substantial disruption.
- We have contracted additional vehicles to enable up to a 100% increase in the equipment that we allocate to our International line haul to cope with delays meaning that schedules cannot be maintained for a short period of time and have a similar number of experienced drivers, ready to switch responsibilities if needed.
- We have been engaged with customers at all levels for many months and have been issuing regular updates both generic and customer specific to allow them to prepare for what lies ahead.
Twente Express was formed and thrived long before the single market became the norm and we are looking forward to the many new challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for us and all of our customers and partners
We welcome the opportunity to come and discuss your business needs in preparation for post Brexit (2021), so we may continue to add value as your expert Express Freight provider, in meeting your company supply chain needs for current and any new business requirements. Please feel free to reach out to our Brexit Expert Rob Clarke for advice and business support, using the following contact details:
DDI – 01543 362231
Mobile – 07580 166 999