Parcel courier DPD UK has said it is pausing its road delivery services into Europe, including Ireland, until at least Wednesday.
In a statement the company said: ”The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement resulted in more complex processes, and additional customs data requirements for parcels destined for Europe.
“This, along with delays and congestion at UK ports for Channel crossings, has placed extra pressure on our turnaround and transit times.
The company said they “are seeing up to 20% of parcels with incorrect or incomplete data attached”, saying this is resulting in these parcels needing to be returned to customers, so that the required data can be provided.
“In view of this unprecedented set of circumstances we believe that it is only right to pause and review our road service into Europe, including the Republic of Ireland,” DPD said.
“During this time, we will work with our customers to validate and correct the data we have in our system, to reduce the delays and enable us to resume normal service.
“This pause in our operation will be as short as possible and we intend to recommence this service on Wednesday 13 January.”
Meanwhile British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said “busy times” may return to UK borders as firms get to grips with new paperwork after the exit from the EU single market.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The Cabinet Office is working very closely with businesses. It’s not the case that goods are stopping flowing.
“I was studying, as I do by the hour at the moment, the flow at Kent and it’s been picking up every single day of this year so far and you’re seeing goods crossing the short straits and flowing perfectly smoothly.”
Mr Schapps was pressed on whether pressures at the border will build because currently firms are avoiding it.
In response he said: “It’s been a quieter start to the year, a lot of that’s to do with anticipations, so the stockpiling that’s going on.”
He added that the chaos seen last month while the post-Brexit transition period was still in place was due to the French closing the border because of concerns over the UK strain of coronavirus and was “nothing to do with the change of paperwork”.
“We may well see busy times again but actually at the moment the border is in fact flowing and it’s flowing very smoothly,” he said.