Three weeks after the end of the transition period following the UK’s departure from the EU and its customs union after 47 years, hauliers are already bearing the costs of the new post-Brexit border rules.
With the UK now outside the EU’s single market and customs union, truck queues, delays and supply chain disruptions are multiplying, which is a concern for transport operators, shippers and businesses on both sides of the English Channel.
Customs under pressure
During the first days of 2021, traffic leaving Great Britain to travel to the EU and from France to the UK was quieter than usual, with an average of 2,500 trucks a day leaving the port of Dover, a drop of 60%. Many companies took the decision to stock up before the end of the transition period, but more and more hauliers are now returning to the roads with dire consequences.
Eight-hour queues have been seen at the Waterbrook Park estate in Dover as drivers wait for border paperwork to be approved by UK authorities. Waiting times are increasing as traffic is picking up and approval for access to port areas is often delayed due to a lack of staff and flaws in the documentation and information being presented.