Europa is ready for a no-deal Brexit
The UK’s largest independent freight forwarder, Europa Worldwide Group, is ready to tackle the possibility of a No-Deal Brexit.
The specialist European road freight operator has invested significant time and over £2m to ensure the smoothest possible transition for its customers in the event of no-deal. Europa’s Managing Director also believes border delays have been significantly over-stated.
Andrew Baxter, Managing Director, Europa Worldwide Group comments: “I am confident that our thorough approach to Brexit preparedness means that we are now ready to handle a no-deal Brexit. The comprehensive steps we have taken means that we are prepared and on the front foot in order to make the process as simple and straight forward for our customers as possible.”
"Having made adjustments to our business model and by putting in place new processes and procedures, I believe that Europa will provide as smooth a flow of goods as is possible minimising any negative impact to transit times. Plus, by securing AEO Trusted Trader Status and expanding our Transit Guarantee, we will ensure that we have adequate facilities to look after all of our customers’ requirements.”
“On top of the practical adjustments we have made, offering close counsel to customers is of upmost importance to Europa. Our in-depth knowledge of the logistics sector and understanding of the challenges ahead, demonstrates we are in a unique position to support, educate and guide our customers’ through Brexit and beyond."
"The level of border delays have been exaggerated and that the introduction of TSP, and zero duty rates are very beneficial and will help import flow. In order for operators to cross the UK/EU border they will need valid and correct documents. Will some operators turn up at the border without them? Maybe? But will they do it day after day, week after week? No of course not. We are expecting some disruption in the first few weeks, but not much more than that."
Pro-active steps taken by Europa Worldwide include:
- An investment (over £2m) in its Dartford transit warehouse to increase racking capacity by 75 per cent. The company was concerned that if customers do not react in a timely manner to customs clearance matters, their warehouse could get clogged with freight on hold. The additional space ensures that they have more than adequate capacity to deal with this risk.
- Europa Road has gained Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) accreditation, which is allowing Europa to increase its T form guarantee to provide ample capacity to handle all of its customers goods.
- It has increased its international trucking fleet by 20 per cent, to provide additional flexibility to deal with short term border delays or deviations via customs points.
- It has invested over 2,000 senior management hours in Brexit preparation meetings to design new processes, and ensure compliance with new rules and regulations.
- It has spent more than four man-years of IT development time, using in-house developers to ensure IT systems are straight forward, user-friendly and quick;
- It has created a new customs clearance team, and expanded and trained it’s operational teams
- It is running a series of free, nationwide workshops for customers, providing practical support and advice ahead of Brexit.
Andrew added: “I am proud that we at Europa have got on with preparing for Brexit ensuring that we are ready to look after our customer's interests should a no deal scenario occur.”
Europa Worldwide Group will have a turnover of over £200m in 2019 and employs 900 staff across 16 sites in the UK, plus Belgium and Hong Kong. Europa Worldwide Group is a specialist road, air & sea, warehouse and showfreight.
Ford Transit to get larger 5-tonne limit next year
Ford is to increase the maximum gross vehicle weight of its Transit van by the end of next year in order to better supply demand from the conversion sector.
Large Transit vans with a gross vehicle weight of 5 tonnes will arrive by Q4 2020 with an extra-long wheelbase L5 skeletal chassis also due to arrive mid-year.
Springs, dampeners and suspension have all had to be modified to accommodate the change in gross vehicle weight which will increase from 4.7 tonnes to 5 tonnes promising well in excess of 2.5 tonnes payload for a chassis cab and just under 2.5 tonnes for a panel van version. The largest model currently available is a Transit 470 L4H3 with a payload of 2,169kg.
“If you look at all of our commercial vehicles we lead the segment in each of them, but above 3.5-tonne is the one segment where we don’t. We see an opportunity in conversions for the potential of the higher GVW, particularly in areas such as campers or ambulances. If you look at the competition, 5 tonnes is the sweet spot. It’s not a massive move from where we are, but in the market above 3.5 tonnes we are third in the UK, but it’s a big gap between us and the leaders. A 5-tonne van will make us more competitive in many more sectors,” said Iain Brooks Ford Tranist product marketing manager.
Revisions to a number of components for the latest generation of Transit van have seen an increase in payloads of up to 80kg. While certain areas of the body and other key components will have had to be strengthened, adding weight, the 5-tonne Transit will benefit from many of the new weight saving features of the new model. These include a 5.4kg reduction in the weight of the bonnet by switching from steel to aluminium, a composite bulkhead saving 4.4kg and 14.7kg weight saving in the rear axle.
New production methods have meant that a down gauging of certain metal components has been possible with further 6.1kg saved on the weight of the fuel tank, revised front bumper beam and high-strength steel cross-members save 4.9kg and 2.7kg, respectively, while new steel wheels reduce weight by 5.5kg.
All of these changes will help make the Transit more competitive above and below 3.5 tonnes.