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Britons vote Leave in the EU referendum. What does this mean for the cargo industry?
The dust is going to take a while to settle following the historic EU “Brexit” referendum. 51.9% of Britons voted to Leave.
What does this mean for the cargo, parcel delivery and freight forwarding industries? Here’s a quick round-up of some immediate industry reactions.
The International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), which includes British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia, expects “no long term material impact” as a consequence of leaving. However, in the short term they expect a continued weak trading environment and smaller earnings this year.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has said that exit negotiations must make sure “the goods keep moving” and that additional legislation, bureaucratic requirements and new costs must be minimised.
Similarly, courier ParcelHero has implored the UK government to secure access to Europe’s single market to avoid the imposition of new import tariffs, customs delays and red tape in general.
In the run-up to the referendum, The Loadstar reported that several European long-term business deals were postponed until the outcome of the vote—and quoted industry figures who are, again, pushing hopefully for a free trade agreement with the EU, as a member of the European Economic Area (EEA).
Citing ParcelHero, who says its own UK business customers tend to avoid trading with non-EU countries such as Switzerland and Norway due to the extra complications, Roger Altken at Forbes explores the possibility of EU companies now trading less with small UK businesses, and that it may be small businesses who are hardest hit by extra hoops and border controls.
“We will gain in some areas and lose in others,” says Nicole Gunter of Shropshire-based Global Freight. Though acknowledging that exporting businesses in particular may experience losses, Gunter believes that businesses will now be able to act more decisively following a period of referendum-based uncertainty.
That’s it for now. We’ll do another round-up as more companies respond.