Customs delays of 30 minutes will bankrupt one in 10 firms, say bosses

One in 10 businesses could fold if there are delays at ports of just 30 minutes, according to a survey.

The finding comes in a survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).

It found that one in 10 businesses which deal with EU suppliers believed that a ‘no deal’ Brexit could trigger massive queues of trucks at British borders because of an increase in paperwork and checks to clear customs.

Port of Dover (4451817)
Port of Dover (4451817)

It said 10% of firms believed their businesses would likely go bankrupt if goods were delayed at the border by between 10 minutes and 30 minutes. This increased to 14% for delays of one to three hours.

The survey is the latest pessimistic forecast of the potential impact of a no deal Brexit.

Of responses from UK supply chain managers with EU suppliers, more than a fifth had spent between £10,000 and £100,000 preparing for Brexit.

Firms fear going under because of Brexit (4452122)
Firms fear going under because of Brexit (4452122)

But one fifth said said they were unable to prepare for Brexit as there was insufficient information on future trade agreements.

Some 41% said they would increase their prices to protect profit margins while almost a quarter said they would reduce staff numbers to save money.

When it came to respondents from the public sector, the survey found that 48% saying they were unable to make much headway in preparing for leaving the EU.

More worryingly, 45% said that currency fluctuations related to Brexit had made their supply chain more expensive.

According to Dr John Glen, an economist with CIPS, the survey highlighted that many businesses were no clearer what the trading environment after Brexit would look like.

“All in all, it would appear that the costs of Brexit are now starting to work their way through to consumers and organisations find it difficult to absorb cost increases without increasing prices.”

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