Mercedes-Benz Trucks protects UK hauliers from a no-deal Brexit
Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK has invested £20m in additional spare parts so customers are not inconvenienced in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Director for customer service and operations Sam Whittaker (below) said: “We have increased our stockholding by £20m, which is approximately a 50% increase. We have not only targeted fast-moving lines but also those parts that are used less often but may cause a VOR. It is our intention to continue our first-pick service level at over 93%, regardless of what happens in the Brexit agreements.”
Whittaker explained that the parts are being stored in approximately 20,000sq m of additional storage space in strategic locations close to the manufacturer’s UK Logistics Centre in Milton Keynes. “We have planned for seven days’ additional stocking of all parts, plus an additional four weeks of fast-moving stock at these warehouses,” he continued.
“Also, our dealers will hold an additional depth of stock as an insurance policy in the first weeks of a potential hard Brexit. We will also hold key critical components locally in Milton Keynes rather than in Germany to shorten lead times and avoid delays at port.”
Another potential concern addressed by Mercedes is the possibility that the trucks carrying spare parts and vehicles to the UK might get held up at the border. With this in mind, it has submitted an application to HMRC for two customs authorisations: Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) and Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP). These will mean that its trucks can enter the UK with reduced disruption after Brexit. An AEO is a globally recognised trusted trader certificate that demonstrates to all customs authorities that it has high-quality international trade controls and processes. It will show border security and customs that it is considered low risk, so its goods should be cleared through the UK border more quickly. A CFSP allows it to make simplified customs declarations, easing the amount of data required when parts and vehicles come into the country, resulting in quicker customs clearance.
“Of course, there are still concerns that our trucks [carrying parts that are allowed to move through the fast lanes] might get caught up behind trucks that do not have the same benefit, but this is something we’re continuing to work with the various ports,” added Whittaker. “We plan to use multiple ports of entry to mitigate any restriction in the flow of traffic. We also air freight urgent VOR parts and aim to fast track these as well, as soon as our AEO status is approved.
“We would like to think that we have suitably prepared our network and parts support to ensure our customers can keep their businesses moving.”