Haulage Exchange shows major industry post-Brexit problems

A survey of major UK hauliers by specialist return loads platform Haulage Exchange shows the problems that logistics companies are facing with the perfect storm of red tape, driver shortages as well as other Brexit issues. More than half are planning to move operations to the EU.

Almost a third of the 16 businesses surveyed say that they are avoiding working with the food and drinks industry due to the problems of increased checks and admin on certain products. Other industries include livestock farming, agricultural farming, gardening supplies and retail.

This comes in the face of huge spikes in demand for haulage in the face of the estimated need for an additional 100,000 HGV drivers. Between March and May 2021, the uplift in demand for haulage was more than twice what it was in the same period in 2020, with April seeing a 120% spike in demand compared to 2019.

The results have are from the 2021 Post-Brexit Hauliers Survey, conducted by Haulage Exchange. It shows that a sizeable majority of UK haulage companies have been negatively impacted and are still seeing Brexit aftershocks that are more powerful than anticipated. Close to 70% have lost business after Brexit – before the event, this was at 21%.

“We know more changes are coming, but this is an industry used to adapting and it has proved extraordinarily successful in dealing with the unexpected. It’s encouraging that demand for haulage is stronger than ever, and how well companies have adapted to big changes shows the resilience of our industry,” said Lyall Cresswell, Founder and CEO at Haulage Exchange.

“Companies can use that demand to overcome the challenges ahead and I’m positive about the future of the industry. The issues identified in our survey need to be addressed quickly and decisively. If that happens, I’m confident that the industry will continue to thrive.

“It’s clear that haulage companies will have to continue to be flexible, especially with further Brexit changes around the corner, but this is where platforms like ours can help. Our network helps companies to avoid dead mileage or fleets sitting idle. Instead, they can take advantage of the surging demand.”