Brexit: what’s the latest?

Brexit: what’s the latest?

After years of negotiation, Brexit is now reality. Since 1 January 2021, the supply chain of companies transporting goods to and from Great Britain has been transformed. But which changes are you required to consider? We’re providing you with an update from Lodewijk De Meulemeester, Business Unit Manager Liquid Bulk, and Wim Gijbels, Business Unit Manager Forwarding & Customs. They will explain how, even in the future, you can continue to trade efficiently with the United Kingdom, thanks to H.Essers.

“Brexit is the biggest change facing the European supply chain in the last thirty years,” Lodewijk De Meulemeester states. A real disruption, and as often the case when there are changes, the transition is not always a smooth one. “The new trading barriers undoubtedly affect business with the UK. All the more reason to work with an experienced logistics partner to continue transporting your goods efficiently to the United Kingdom.”

Brexit fatigue?

Wim Gijbels continues: “The long negotiations caused considerable anxiety and doubt for many companies. This meant that many became fed up with the Brexit situation and were rather unprepared when it suddenly became a reality. Furthermore, it seemed that the UK systems and government staff were not ready to properly support the Brexit as from 1 January. It’s not easy to work under such conditions.”

The impact of Brexit

Indeed, Brexit means all kinds of extra formalities and inspections. Wim Gijbels: “Firstly, we now generate a total of 40% more documents than before the Brexit, both for imports and exports to the UK. And secondly, the physical inspections in the UK have been delayed for six months and a number of problems remain under the radar. This may give a false sense of security.”

Longer lead times

Lodewijk De Meulemeester points out another important consequence for transport by truck: “Drivers of shipments to the United Kingdom must now wait for customs documents, which can take a long time. On such a relatively short distance, a few hours of waiting makes a big difference. Customers must therefore take into account that their shipment will be on the move for longer, and that this will soon be exacerbated, once the physical inspections are actually implemented. But we are working proactively. For example, by providing more tanks for liquid bulk, allowing us to compensate the longer completion time and to continue transporting just as efficiently.”

One-stop shop

After all, at H.Essers we don’t think in terms of problems, but in terms of challenges. To relieve our customers’ concerns and allow them to continue their business with Great Britain. “When customers entrust us with their transport, we take care of an appropriate full solution”, summarises Wim Gijbels. Lodewijk De Meulemeester agrees: “In Belgium, we offer a one-stop shop, thanks to the combined expertise of our business units and our experience in customs and trading with the UK. For example, we do this for one of our customers who imports large volumes from Great Britain. In the past we only looked after their liquid bulk. These days we take care of health certificates, registrations with the FASFC, customs declarations, transport to the final destination, etc. In short, we combine the forces of our different business units, such as forwarding & customs and liquid bulk, into a one-stop-shop solution to make life as easy as possible for our customers.”

Are you looking for a suitable logistics solutions for your transport to Great Britain? Our specialists at H.Essers are happy to help. Please ontact Wim Gijbels ( or Lodewijk De Meulemeester (