The volume of freight transported between the UK and EU in the third week of January was down by 38 per cent on the equivalent week in 2020, according to new figures.
Real-time truck movement data provided by supply chain and logistics tech platform Sixfold and Transporeon revealed that there was a 38 per cent year-on-year fall, Reuters reports.
This was attributed to a combination of factors, including goods stockpiling and adaptation to post-Brexit customs rules, as well as the impact of Coronavirus.
Freight logistics solutions providers also faced higher costs, with spot prices up 51 per cent on the main UK-France crossing.
There were also many job rejections by freight forwarders from companies they were contracted to when it came to importing goods to Britain, while many drivers have been put off leaving the UK due to the need for extra paperwork and a negative Covid-19 test.
Commenting on the situation, Transporeon chief executive officer Stephan Sieber said: “Transport demand is slowly recovering but still sluggish – our French British border crossing monitoring, based on real-time visibility data by Sixfold, indicates significant volume drop compared to the same weeks in January 2020.”
However, the drop-off in freight movements is not expected to persist. The Port of Dover said it movements to return to more normal seasonal levels in late January and early February as the effects of pre-Brexit stockpiling wore off.
Britain’s logistics sector could certainly be in for a more active 2021 than the disrupted early weeks of the year might suggest.
The latest BDO LLP figures for deals in the logistics and supply chain sector indicated a major rebound in activity in the final quarter of 2020, with 15 deals being completed, a similar level to the same period in 2019.
BDO said that with the UK and EU having agreed a free trade deal, activity levels should continue to be high in 2021.