As reported on June 20 by Lloyd’s Loading List, a poll conducted by its sister concern IMHX surveying professionals in the UK logistics and materials handling sector indicates that approximately one third think that a ‘Brexit’ would be good for their businesses.
While those surveyed are split almost equally on the issue personally (45% remain, 47% leave), less than one in five respondents believe that Brexit would result in higher growth for the UK logistics business they work for.
Looking to the future, “38% think that leaving could have a somewhat negative or extremely negative impact on the businesses they work for, while one-third do not feel there would be any effect.”
In addition, 22% think that leaving would have no impact on red tape and bureaucracy, 35% think there would be a decrease while 38% think there would be an increase.
A survey by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) in April of 676 UK executives in the freight logistics industry revealed that 65% believed the supply chain, logistics and transport industry will have a better future if the UK remains in the EU. When respondents were asked if they believed their business would be in a stronger position if the UK rejected a Brexit, 58% agreed.
The Wall Street Journal has also reported that members of the UK maritime sector are concerned about the future of London’s role as a global centre of ship financing, brokering and insurance upon a withdrawal from the EU.
Elsewhere, a recent article by Journal of Commerce has suggested that trucking faces the biggest potential hit if the UK leaves, given its reliance on European drivers in the midst of a driver shortage. According to the Road Haulage Association (RHA), of the 290,000 heavy vehicle drivers in the UK, some 60,000 are from the EU, mainly Poland and other East European countries.
The RHA’s policy director, Jack Semple, has stated, “We are facing the worst driver shortage in living memory. If we didn’t have skilled foreign drivers to plug the gap during peak times such as Christmas, we would be facing the very real possibility of logistics businesses grinding to a halt”.
However, a survey of the RHA’s members published last week revealed that 60% want to leave, 30% want to remain, while 10% are undecided. A majority of smaller firms want to leave, while most of the larger companies (over 65 trucks) favour remaining.
Finally, it is worth noting that upon leaving, the UK would have at least a two-year “grace period” to form a new relationship with the EU.
On Friday, after a decision has been announced, Ti Economist David Buckby will be publishing his analysis of what the decision could mean for the European logistics industry.
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