The UK’s Peel Ports Group has put forward an alternative option to introducing a warehouse into the supply chain routing for trade after the UK’s departure from the EU.
In a paper, the company, which operates ports in the UK and Ireland, argues that, rather than goods being stored in a warehouse as contingency, retailers and manufacturers should build up contingency stock at a port of entry using stand trailers, with the operator also calling for cargo which is not perishable or urgent to be able to travel on unaccompanied services.
The document, Brexit unlocked: A Contingency Option Using Uncongested Ports, deploys a hypothetical supply chain whereby cargo is transported from Germany’s Düsseldorf to the UK’s Milton Keynes via the Strait of Dover.
Looking at the new UK warehouse option, Peel Ports Group argues that road miles would be greater than they are currently, flexibility would be low, there would be a higher truck asset use than now and a product would be handled an additional two times than it would be at the moment, meaning damage would be higher.
Conversely, unaccompanied cargo travelling via the UK’s Medway would offer more benefits, with 95 miles being saved per one-way trip, high flexibility, a possibility of improved driver-utilisation, high reliability and an easing of the process through border examinations.
“The Strait of Dover handles 4.3m of the 6.6m units that enter the UK from ports in France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands,” the paper claimed. “Of these 6.6m units, 4.8m units — or 73% — are accompanied.
“If the Irish Sea market is an indicator, it is reasonable to assume around 50% could switch to unaccompanied trade.”
Source: Port Strategy, 20 June 2018