MARCH 2021


The UK left the EU on the 31st January 2020, but a transition period meant that things stayed the same for both sides until 31st December 2020.

On 24th December 2020, after complex negotiations, the good news emerged that a new trade deal had been agreed. The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement secured quota and tariff free trade between the UK and EU.

However, despite the new trade agreement, on the leaving the EU, the UK left the customs union meaning that whilst goods can cross borders without being subject to tariffs, new customs formalities now apply.

The result is that the movement of goods has become more complex, with new procedures and additional paperwork requirements.

As an experienced exporter and with the support of our logistics partners, PureMalt is well equipped to deal with the new customs requirements. However, like everyone else, we are prepared for a steep learning curve as plans are put into practice and the changes throws up new challenges.



The situation is dynamic but the pressure on the freight network is clear. Lengthy delays at ports caused by backlogs at customs mean that many carriers on both sides are reluctant to cross the border. Time is money for the hauliers and while trucks are stuck at the borders, their wheels are not turning and costs are racking up.

Even though the volume of traffic is still relatively light, there is high demand on a reduced supply of carriers and as such the rates are surging. We hope this will ease as things settle down and carriers resume operations.

Despite the challenging circumstances we are successfully delivering goods to our European customers but so far this success has been limited to dedicated full trailer loads to single customer destinations.

Unfortunately, the situation with groupage (consolidation of multiple small loads in a single truck) is now critical.

Many carriers have suspended groupage services meaning that options for shipping smaller consignments (i.e. 1 to 10 pallets) are extremely limited. We continue to look for creative solutions, but without the appropriate infrastructure to expedite smaller volume deliveries we are at risk of increasing delays and backlogs. We have received great support so far from our customer base and we are very grateful for your pragmatic approach and your patience.

We would ask that you continue to consider the current situation when placing orders and factor in additional lead time and cover for your requirements.