UK Haulage Crisis Update - Rent and Demurrage

You have no doubt heard of the “UK haulage crisis”, regardless of whether you are involved in the transport industry or not. The problem has become so evident and widespread that no corner of the UK remains untouched by it. You’ve no doubt heard of well-known food chains running out of chicken and milkshakes, to the point of needing to shut locations, or supermarkets running out of standard food items.

We appreciate your time is precious, so put simply, the UK is short by about 100,000 HGV drivers willing to operate the necessary haulage trucks that transport goods across the country. However, if you want more insight, you can read our initial update on the situation here  or this BBC news article provides a good overview of the situation – How serious is the shortage of lorry drivers? – BBC News

So how does this directly affect yourself and your business. The unfortunate matter of the fact is that the haulage crisis does exist, and it is something that we, as a country, need to deal with. We do believe with our help however, that importers (like yourself) can take positive steps to circumvent as many hurdles as possible – but it does mean accepting that compromising with the situation is inevitable. Below is the best advice we can provide to help manage an unmanageable crisis.

Expect Delays

International freight and delays go hand in hand; however, the situation right now means that delays are far more regular than anyone would wish to hope for. A delivery time & date is always provided with the best of intentions, but with slow quay turnarounds, on the day delivery failures and the lack of drivers in the industry make rebooking’s in a timely fashion increasingly difficult, it’s always best to have wider window of expectation on when you will receive your goods.

Expect Extra Costs

No one wants to hear that the cost of anything is going to go up, but with haulage becoming like gold dust the competition to secure said haulage is incredibly strong, and a strong demand turns into increased costs. Outside of what the haulage itself costs, the slower turn around due to the lack of drivers means your container may be spending more time at the port until it can be collected, and if this falls outside of the free time provided by the shipping line, which they are unable to extend, then rent and demurrage charges will be incurred until your container is delivered. As always, Banks & Lloyd will do the utmost to look for solutions during these challenging times.

Remain As Flexible As Possible

The greater you can operate with flexibility, the less impact the crisis will have upon yourself and your supply chain. Understanding that haulage is incredibly hard to obtain helps to understand the importance of seriously considering what haulage and delivery options are offered. We will work towards, with all our expertise, knowledge, and determination, in securing you the best options available, but it may sometimes not be the exact option you were wanting. However, we consider everything at play, and a delay in a decision can lead to incurred costs, as the container sits in the port building up rent and demurrage charges. For example, accepting deliveries outside of normal delivery hours and be willing to accept late runners on the day of delivery is a level of flexibility that will offer potential options to getting your goods in a more timely fashion.

The situation is unfortunate, but it is a crisis that has affected everyone in some way. Until good, positive measures are taken to help abate the crisis, it’s one that isn’t going anywhere any time soon and we will have to continue to work around. However, we remain confident that with good planning, realistic expectations, and good cooperation that you will be able to achieve good results, and that by following our earnest guidance you will be able to make the best out of a bad situation.

Like to discuss anything you’ve seen above? Or anything else freight related? then get in touch!