Data above comes from a September 2022 survey on the export and import challenges faced by UK business, compared to 12 months earlier.
Inflation tends to be viewed as a consumer issue but businesses are also affected by rising prices. No surprise that changes in transportation costs led the list of challenges they are meeting on the movement of goods.
More surprising is how close to this other elements are, excess paperwork, duties, border disruption. Neither should the 12 month time frame be taken too literally, as concerns tend to be carried forward.
A Cumulative Effect
Covid-19 spread across the globe over two years ago, Brexit kicked in a year later, then Russia invaded Ukraine the following year. Separate events but in practical terms, their effects can seem to combine.
On a national basis, this has brought restricted development. Economists argue over 0.1% margins to define whether recession has officially arrived, whilst we all know that with few exceptions, these are not boom times.
Even so, given recent events we should be proud of how well business has stood up. The collapse many forecast at varying stages has not happened, although dealing with ongoing issues is still important.
Few solutions cover every problem business faces, from recruitment, to energy costs but one area can be made to work effectively.
If we return to the initial survey, excess admin and delay feature prominently. An effective freight forwarder should be able to help on permanent exports, although managing temporary movement may be just as vital.
People can approach this in different ways, from using full export procedures, to duplicate lists, to hoping everything will be alright at the border. None of those are a great idea, when a better plan is available.
ATA carnets have been in use for decades, evolving into an efficient system largely unaffected by recent events. They bring admin needs but relatively minor and aspects such as an inventory may have been carried out anyway.
Once in place, ATA carnets are the best way to ensure a trouble free journey, for you and your goods. In the near future, the moderate paperwork they involve will be set aside, as the system moves online.
Using The Opportunity
Apart from being a leading supplier, we mention ATA carnets because of another issue raised in a chart accompanying the survey:
Imports are at 2019 levels, restricted by lower raw material needs, following an ongoing lull in exports. Brexit plays a part but the same applies to non EU data. If the UK is to prosper this needs to change, led by sales and marketing efforts.
As much as the world has gone online, there can still be reasons to attend an overseas business exhibition, or set up an individual presentation. They both require a range of goods to leave the UK and return without hassle.
ATA carnets are used for a range of reasons but supporting sales drives is a key part of this. Carnets can’t solve your staffing problems, or reduce electricity costs but can play a role in building business.
We appreciate that some companies are reticent to market overseas directly because of border concerns. There is no need to feel restricted, with ATA carnets ideal for exhibitions and trade fairs, or bespoke trips.
Our team are here to offer advice. Seeing the data we looked at improve would be good and the only way for business to move forward is to generate business.