UK and German manufacturers confident they can meet the challenges of Brexit but call for clarity


New research from European service logistics specialist, Carousel Logistics, has revealed that almost half of UK and German manufacturing businesses believe they have time to prepare their supply chains for Brexit, but they have called for clarity to allow them to do so.

In an exclusive survey of senior logistics and supply chain professionals from 80 multinational organisations in the UK and Germany, Carousel found that 46% believe they will have time to prepare for Brexit (while just 18% believe they will not), but 50% still feel in the dark about the specifics of what is required. Only one in five UK companies feel informed about the consequences of Brexit; as one respondent commented: "Until we receive more guidance on the likely outcomes of trade negotiations it's difficult to plan anything."

Other key findings

Ease of movement and an increase in red tape is named as the number one priority in the UK and Germany, with additional tariffs on UK imports and the strength of the pound coming in as the second and third priorities respectively.

Innovation is revealed as one of the ways organisations can manage such issues and prepare for Brexit:

  • Over a third (38%) of UK businesses say Brexit has increased their need for better technology solutions, compared to just 18% of German companies
  • Nearly a third (30%) of UK businesses say Brexit has prompted their business to be more innovative with solutions
  • 44% of UK manufacturers foresee an increase in logistics spend post-Brexit.

Graham Martin, CEO of Carousel, said: "Brexit is the latest in a long list of disruptive forces to have shaped the logistics space in recent years, and it's positive to see that organisations in the UK and Germany are ready to adapt to the challenges of Brexit. Nonetheless, many are still desperate for clarity on the specifics of the future relationship before they do put a plan into action.

"As history has taught us, digitalisation is the key to maintaining and even improving services, within challenging circumstances. A failure to innovate at any time could leave some organisations far behind, and there is a chance that Brexit could widen this gap if action can't be taken by organisations soon."

Thomas Griese European, Chief Operating Officer at Carousel, said: "Companies will need to adapt quickly to market needs and open-up new opportunities as they present themselves. As such, it will be increasingly important for logistics service providers to step up to meet these changing demands, with the priority being on providing the right technology systems, flexible network options plus economies of scale. All three will be vital in a post-Brexit landscape."

About the report

The research forms Carousel's latest white paper entitled 'Brexit and logistics: A catalyst for change and innovation?' which was released this week. The research was commissioned by Carousel, in conjunction with Analytiqa and includes feedback from organisations spanning the agriculture, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and aerospace sectors.

About the survey

Over a three-month period in 2018, Analytiqa – a business intelligence and market analysis company commissioned on behalf of Carousel – interviewed senior logistics, operations and supply chain professionals from multinational manufacturers and service providers in the UK and in Germany. These companies are leading players in their respective manufacturing industries and include those in agriculture, automotive, chemicals, healthcare (pharmaceuticals and medical equipment), industrial manufacturing, utilities and technical engineering.

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