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It is difficult to say for certain, and will very much depend on the success of a vaccine in being able to build the economy back without the need for periodical lockdowns. The supply chain has been impacted with shortages in specific materials, delays to manufacturing due to local restrictions and reduced capacity in sea and air freight. This is already delaying development, restricting manufacturing output and driving up costs.
However, I expect confidence to gradually increase over time as the growth areas (in green energy, electric vehicles etc) and new opportunities are maximised.
We have probably seen a bigger impact from Covid on the supply chain than we will see from Brexit. In my view the worst has already happened, said Bates (pictured, right).
The main impact is on the level of accountability. We will have to increase our due diligence on products purchased from the EU. Many manufacturers don’t understand their compliance obligations and we spend time helping them to reach our standards. This will be a big learning curve for UK distributors or manufacturers working on behalf of European counterparts.
Megatrends don’t go away, said Bates.
They simply develop into new specialised industries and we will not see any different in 2021. I do think however, there is a revised appreciation of our lives and freedoms which has even led businesses to be more grateful for the opportunities available to them. “Local is the new Global” may be a poor catchphrase, but the sentiment has meaning which suggests big isn’t necessarily better.
all major UK ports are now overloadedand shipping lines are seeking to reduce their UK capacity.
Rapid has factored circumstances such as this into our Brexit planning, says Bates.
We are carrying more stock of high selling product lines from the Far East than we normally would, so if any customers have volume requirements in the short term please get in touch with us so we can ensure that there is no disruption to your service.