Brexit and E-Fulfillment
Nobody can say for certain what effects Brexit will have on the global and European market, but there seems to be two big options. The first one is a so-called “hard Brexit”, I.e. the UK leaving with no transition period. And there is a “soft Brexit”, which would have an interim period of two years with mostly same laws in place. If the first option happens, the market will have to adapt very quickly to new circumstances. If the second option takes place, everybody will have a lot more time to make the necessary adjustments.
If a “hard Brexit”, or “no-deal Brexit” happens, trade between the UK and the EU will change practically over night. We can expect understaffed customs offices, very slow processing of goods and many new regulations. For someone who exports into the UK, this will almost certainly cause unprecedented delays in delivery. Aside from that, we can expect the transportation prices to skyrocket for deliveries to the UK, because many of the economic agreements will be void. For most sellers this means that the UK will be a much less attractive market.
For businesses in the UK, the problems might be even greater. Losing all the benefits of being a member state in the EU will change their trade options significantly. This, in essence, means that the UK is going to be treated the same as China or the USA. What this means is that every product will have to come with a ton of paperwork. This includes proof of origin, customs tariff numbers, EORI numbers, sales tax identification numbers, and so on
A soft Brexit would allow a much longer adaptation period for companies. It would also leave open the possibility for negotiating new trade deals between the EU and the UK. While transactions might be harder here and there, and the deliveries a bit delayed from time to time, no significant impact would be noticed.
However, adjustments would have to be made in this period to meet the needs of the future. This includes restructuring the fulfillment process, and creating a department for dealing with customs alone. Even for companies from outside the EU, like China and the USA, this can create problems. A simpler solution for many will probably be relocating into a member state of the EU.
Whatever the final decision of the UK on the Brexit might be, having an E-Fulfillment partner can only be beneficial. Whether the changes are drastic or not, having a professional team of people handling the necessary adjusting them is better than addressing them on your own.
A large E-Fulfillment company can offer cuts on delivery prices because of volume of shipment. This can absorb the losses from the increased prices because of customs taxes to a degree. The same principle applies to delivery times. A well-organized e-fulfillment company can make up to the time that will inevitably be lost waiting for processing on the border. And having a partner that is already equipped with experience in dealing with customs duties is a big advantage in any case.