How one Suffolk logistics firm has been preparing for Brexit

Morrison Freight company directors Lee Steward and Darren Ryan

Morrison Freight company directors Lee Steward and Darren Ryan - Credit: Archant

The managing directors of a freight firm claim to have been ‘shocked’ by what seems to be a ‘sluggish approach’ from some other companies when it comes to planning for Brexit.

Lee Steward and Darren Ryan of Morrison Freight, a firm based on a three acre site in Great Blakenham, claim they want to be on the front-foot – despite not knowing how the current discussions between the Government and the European Union will affect their business.

Morrison Freight has announced a series of measures aimed at combating the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, including achieving an internationally-recognised quality mark.

“I have been shocked by what seems to be a sluggish approach from some companies within the industry when it comes to planning for Brexit,” said Mr Steward. “No one has a crystal ball, but I believe you can still be pro-active so customers feel a little more at ease.

“We are also delighted that we have secured three new clients on the back of the measures we have put in place and proactively investing time and money ahead of Brexit.”

Morrison Freight was founded in 1990 as a consortium of four people, primarily as a road haulier serving the UK and German freight markets.

It has since grown into a leading freight logistics provider, serving 25 countries throughout Europe. Mr Ryan and Mr Steward now lead a team of nearly 20 haulage experts.

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Part of the company’s Brexit preparations have involved getting ‘AEO status’, an internationally recognised quality mark indicating that a company’s role in the international supply chain is secure, and their customs controls and procedures are efficient and compliant.

The successful completion of the AEO process took almost a year and cost a five-figure sum, but now, benefits include a faster and more simplified process for customs declarations, priority treatment of consignments in certain circumstances, and easier admittance to special procedures such as temporary storage and customs warehousing.

““We all know there is a lot of uncertainty about how the Brexit negotiations will end,” said Mr Steward. “But instead of waiting for news, we wanted to act as promptly as possible in starting the AEO process.

“It involved a heavy financial investment, but we felt it was important and necessary and will certainly be a benefit to ourselves and our clients.”

Other measures the company has put in place to make sure it is ‘Brexit-ready’ include greater staff training.

Courses by trade organisations such as Freight Transport Association have been undertaken, as well as Morrison Freight working closely with its clearing agent, Channelports Ltd, to look at every eventuality.