Cross-channel freight rates spike, likely to remain high

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The price of shipping freight across the Channel has surged following the end of the transition period as the realities of ‘Brexit for real’ kick in. 

The price of moving truckloads from France into the UK rose almost 40% in the first week of January – according to a report by Transporeon. 

Despite relatively quiet flows of commercial traffic at the start of the year, particularly following the stockpiling and Covid delays seen around Christmas, new Brexit-related paperwork and the events towards the end of 2020 have seen many shippers – who typically work on tight margins – increase costs. 

And those heightened prices are likely to remain to help cover the added administrative costs, with Transporean CEO commenting that: “There is a likelihood that we will be seeing higher rates for lanes into and out of the UK into the EU as a result of Brexit.

“Carriers, which normally operate on very tight margins, are reacting to market dynamics.”

Read more: Re-exported products causing tariff and Rules of Origin issues for retailers

Chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, Richard Burnett, said that there appears to be a lack of customs brokers able to manage the paperwork for traders and hauliers. 

Elsewhere, policy directory of Logistics UK, Elizabeth de Jong, noted that whilst the number of vehicles being refused passage was low, the next few weeks will be telling as to whether planning, understanding and systems currently in place are sufficient. 

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