No-Deal Brexit will have detrimental effect say majority of supply chain managers

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Six in ten (61 per cent) of logistics and supply chain managers believe that a No-Deal Brexit will have a detrimental effect on British businesses and the wider economy.

The survey, conducted on behalf of intralogistics exhibition IMHX, also found that 63 per cent of logistics and supply chain managers believe British shoppers will panic buy and stockpile food and other goods, while 58 per cent believe there will be a disruption to the food supply chain leading to increases in prices of certain fresh produce.

A further 49 per cent believe a No Deal Brexit will contribute even further to the existing skills shortage within the logistics industry, but 70 per cent said that an increased use of automation, AI and robotics is good thing for the logistics industry and provides a solution to the current skills shortage in the UK.

Four in five (82 per cent) logistics and supply chain managers also said that the rise in e-commerce putting additional pressure on the logistics and supply-chain infrastructure.

Peter Ward, chief executive of the UK Warehousing Association (pictured), said of the findings: “With the prospect of a No Deal Brexit approaching, the delayed date for withdrawal from the EU couldn’t have come at a worse time.

“We have clear evidence of stockpiling food and other goods, and at this time of year warehouses are habitually filling up for the traditional peak period, ramping up for the Christmas season that now includes Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

“This period has always been challenging, not just in terms of available warehousing space, but also in the recruitment and retention of the additional labour required – a situation which has been exacerbated further by Brexit and the so-called ‘Brexodus’ of Eastern Europeans from the sector since the referendum.

“Given the well-documented critical shortage of fit-for-purpose warehousing close to technology enabled consumers who shop ‘little and often’ and on-line , Brexit is fuelling a perfect storm in the warehousing and logistics sector.”

The survey was conducted ahead of intralogistics exhibition IMHX, which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham from 24-27 September.

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