Of the 140 exporters and importers supported by ACP Freight Services, fewer than 10 of these companies are ready for the end of the transition period, according to Alain Tremorin, managing director of the freight forwarding business.
He said: ‘We might lose 50 per cent of our trade, possibly, because if customers are not ready, they will no be able to export to the EU.’
The port could also experience delays and traffic jams as lorries without the correct paper work – such as customs declarations – are turned away, according to Alain.
He said: ‘The need for paper work will not be the cause of traffic jams – it will be the lack of paper work.
‘Without this, lorries could be stuck on the side of the road.
‘We are talking about articulated lorries needing to turn around – it does not take many of them to block a road.’
Meanwhile the government has been working on its Goods Vehicle Movement Service, a new border IT system, which is designed to ensure importers and exporters have the necessary paper work – but doubts remain as to whether it will be ready for January 1, 2021.
Alain said: ‘There is a lot of doubt in the industry whether it will be active in time.
‘There’s been a lot of talk about parking spaces for lorries.
‘A lot of time and money has been spent on that issue, when more effort could have been put into the IT systems we need.’
And these systems will be required regardless of whether a deal is struck or not – with many companies not realising the work they need to undertake, according to the freight firm director.
He added: ‘There are huge worries in the sector.
‘There is a long list of things companies have to do and and it will have a huge impact.
‘It has been very easy to be confused – and the biggest worry is the amount of time left.’
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