Boxes on a conveyor belts

The CEO of Bristol-based Mail Handling International warns that border delays and uncertainty caused by the UK's decision to leave the European Union could put UK 'just-in-time' delivery service businesses at a disadvantage to overseas competitors.

Changes to the UK’s customs arrangements with the EU could negatively impact just-in-time delivery businesses, says Paul Brown CEO of Bristol-based Mail Handling International (MHI). 

MHI are a leading postal service providing international mail solutions. Specialising in e-commerce distribution, they serve the just-in-time economy in mainland Europe. MHI also deliver post and magazine communications and have production and shipping facilities.

Paul explains that any “slowing of trade between the UK and EU would be negative”. He warns that businesses like MHI, who rely on the delivery of goods across borders in a short space of time would be at risk, especially when “online consumer expectations are high”.

"UK-based businesses 'may have to charge taxes and administration charges, making them uncompetitive within Europe', if tariffs are introduced post-Brexit."

The ongoing lack of clarity on the UK’s future customs relationship with the EU is also a concern. Paul explains that the lack of clear direction from government means businesses like MHI “cannot plan or invest in solutions to a challenge that is not clearly defined, with no idea of how the future will look.” He also explains that “the need to plan, invest, and adapt for potential changes will put UK-based businesses at a disadvantage compared to global competitors who will have no need to do so or already have a clear import path into the EU”.

For Paul and businesses like MHI, any post-Brexit plan to maintain the capacity for the rapid movement of goods across borders is preferable. It is imperative that this plan be communicated clearly and soon, so that UK businesses have time to realign and remain competitive globally.