Chilled storage shortage makes headline news

London, UK: Oakland International commercial director Robert Hardy and Food Storage and Distribution Federation chief executive Shane Brennan reiterated warnings about chilled and frozen food warehousing shortages in the event of a no-deal Brexit when they appeared on BBC News programmes on December 3.

The news item focused on the scramble to find chilled warehousing space if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Hardy said: “They’re (companies) asking for space in the run up to 29 March – yes, the phone’s running off the hook, yes we’re over committed.

“There are 140,000 UK businesses being exposed to customs formalities for the first time, going from 50m customs declarations a year, to 250m a year. This is unfamiliar territory for them, so their reaction – stockpiling – is rather a panicky, knee-jerk one.”

Brennan said: “If you haven’t got an arrangement already in place then you’re going to be disappointed. The stores (coldstores) are already full. So what we’re talking to our customers about right now is how can we find ways to prioritise and slim down product ranges, to make sure we’ve got products on the shelf, even if it isn’t the range we’re used to, for a period of days, weeks or months.”

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