Research conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the Port of Dover has revealed that traders in the UK could face delivery delays post-Brexit if they continue to depend on the just-in-time delivery model.

The research included more than 835 export or import businesses across the UK and found that 36% of traders depend on the just-in-time delivery of material and components, but most of them are not prepared for changes to customs procedures after Brexit.

About 29% of the respondents believe that they will be impacted in terms of administration, costs or operations by delays or congestion at UK or European ports.

In addition, 33% of the businesses who will be affected by the customs procedures have not made any plans for possible changes to checks and declarations between the UK and EU.

“Changes in checks should be kept to a minimum so that fluidity at Dover and throughout the supply chain can be maintained post-Brexit.”

Port of Dover Policy and Communications head Richard Christian said: “It can surely be no coincidence that the cross-Channel trade corridor with the UK’s nearest and largest trading partner, of which Dover is a major part, handles around a third of the UK’s trade in goods and that a similar percentage of British traders rely on the just-in-time delivery of material or components via fluid borders and roads serving them.

“The Port of Dover provides pan-European just-in-time supply chains with the efficiency and fluidity needed by British, Irish and European farmers, traders and manufacturers, as well as ordinary citizens.”

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Christian also noted that, in order to benefit the UK business, changes in checks should be kept to a minimum so that fluidity at Dover and throughout the supply chain can be maintained post-Brexit.

The research has also urged both the UK Government and businesses to be clear on a delivery timetable to develop necessary infrastructure investment plans and systems.