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Global Wood News Brexit blues?

Brexit blues?

Södra Wood Ltd managing director Simon Henry, says the Brexit effect has been relatively minor.

How has Brexit affected deliveries so far?

These are not normal times in terms of demand and supply, but Brexit has affected us less than many other companies. This is because we always fill vessels with nothing but our own product, handled through a single, strategic partner, so the timber they contain is not susceptible to hold ups caused by spot checks on deliveries destined for other businesses. If we do receive spot checks on our shipments, this can cause anything up to a 24-hour delay.

We receive truck deliveries from Europe for certain products and there were some delays in January. This was due to lack of haulier capacity caused by hold ups in Calais. This is getting better already.

What about customs – has that been a challenge?

We have entered into a two-year contract with Denholm Port Services, which helps streamline imports and mitigate any customs delay issues. Denholm is an expert in this field and will help ensure we can continue to supply our customers on time. It’s a way to embed our long-term approach to the UK market through continuously improved service. It also frees up our internal team’s time for attending to customer needs.

How will certification marking change?

The CE mark for the European Economic Area (EAA) will cease to be valid for shipments arriving in the UK after December 31, 2021. This is being replaced by the UKCA mark, which is fundamentally the same as CE. All our timber will be marked appropriately. Essentially it will be business as usual.

What is the outlook for Södra now that Brexit is reality?

In some ways it’s an opportunity to drive home the advantages of our business model. Our small number of suppliers, our use of only four distribution points and a single ship broking company, and the large shipments we receive of exclusive product all give us an advantage. We take nothing for granted and will seek to anticipate any problems thrown in our way by Brexit. But in most respects it is business as usual, with customer relationships being our top priority, as always. 

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Subjects: Timber

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Subjects: Timber

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