Portsmouth Port has said that Brexit caused a sluggish start to the year, but that freight traffic is almost back up to expected levels.
While there were complications, delays, and confusion over documentation, and of course the COVID-19 pandemic, the fears that Brexit trade chaos would be devastating for British businesses never quite materialised, according to The Spectator.
Mike Sellers, Portsmouth International Port director said: “We had been preparing for a couple of years to manage the impact of leaving the EU on trade coming through the port, based on the government’s reasonable worst-case scenario that businesses would not have the correct documents to export goods to the EU.”
He added that through the Local Resilience Forum (LRF), there was a thorough plan to ensure hauliers’ paperwork could be processed away from the port to reduce disruptions on the local road network.
Haulier compliance continued to steadily increase, and the plan, named Operation Transmission, was stood down.
“As far as stage one goes, changes to export regulations, operations are running as normal. After a slow start to the year, we’re seeing freight traffic nearly back up to where we expect it to be, in comparison to last year’s figures,” he said.
Next up for the Port are the significant changes to imports and a need for certain goods being imported to be physically checked, however, Sellers says that the port has not been provided with the funds to provide border facilities for all EU imports, leading to scaling back of the infrastructure.
However, he remains confident that inspection facilities will be ready for the majority of imports by the deadline of 1 January 2022.
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