UK delivery prices jump ahead of Brexit cliff edge as firms rush to stockpile

UK delivery prices jump ahead of Brexit cliff edge as firms rush to stockpile
UK businesses are scrambling to avoid potential disruption in January, leaving customs agents overwhelmed (.AFP)
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Updated 27 November 2020

UK delivery prices jump ahead of Brexit cliff edge as firms rush to stockpile

UK delivery prices jump ahead of Brexit cliff edge as firms rush to stockpile

LONDON: British businesses are rushing to stockpile goods just five weeks before post-Brexit customs checks come into force on Jan. 1, driving up the cost of cross-border deliveries and cutting capacity, industry sources said.

Logistics companies told Reuters they have seen a surge in demand to bring goods into the country before any potential disruption in January, and customs agents report being overwhelmed by pleas for help from traders navigating new rules for the first time.

“We have told our customers that the best thing you can do now is stock up, stockpile, and they’re bringing in as much as they can,” Jon Swallow, director of Jordon Freight, told Reuters.

“The consequence of that is there’s simply not enough capacity and the prices are going through the roof.”

Swallow said the increased demand had pushed prices up by around 20 percent in recent weeks and would likely rise further in December.

Freight specialist Tony Shally said his Espace Europe had seen the cost of journeys between Poland and England, and France and England, rise by more than 10 percent.

The frantic activity reflects the need to get ready for Britain’s departure from the world’s biggest trading bloc, which will spark a need for customs and safety declarations, and some checks, when goods move into the EU after Dec. 31.

Companies had stockpiled goods before previous Brexit deadlines but many are in a weaker financial position now after the pandemic hammered their cash flow.

Among the recent rush to bring in goods, companies are also having to prepare to deal with customs declarations for the first time, putting huge pressure on the small customs sector.

Sam Harris, operations manager at Freight UK, said it had become a full time job just to answer the phone to new customers. “Most know nothing about customs,” he said. “Everyone is panicking.”

“We had a farmer on the phone and he had no idea whatsoever about what needed to be done.”


UAE’s Mubadala Petroleum signs Red Sea oil exploration deal with Egypt

The agreement, signed by Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla, allows the company to explore in a 3,084 square kilometer area of the Red Sea. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
The agreement, signed by Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla, allows the company to explore in a 3,084 square kilometer area of the Red Sea. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
Updated 23 January 2021

UAE’s Mubadala Petroleum signs Red Sea oil exploration deal with Egypt

The agreement, signed by Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla, allows the company to explore in a 3,084 square kilometer area of the Red Sea. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
  • It will own 27 percent of the stake as part of the agreement, while Shell will own 63 percent

CAIRO: The UAE’s Mubadala Petroleum Company has signed an agreement with Egypt to explore for oil and gas in the Red Sea.

The agreement, signed by Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla, allows the company to explore in a 3,084 square kilometer area of the Red Sea and was a result of a bidding round in 2019.

It will own 27 percent of the stake as part of the agreement, while Shell will own 63 percent. Egypt’s Tharwa Petroleum Company owns the remaining 10 percent.

The agreement refers to an area known as Sector 4, located in the north of the Red Sea in an area adjacent to the Gulf of Suez Basin, which is rich in natural resources. 

Parties will commit to conducting exploration studies in this sector and collecting seismic data for the area, using three-dimensional techniques, during the first three years of the exploration phase.

“The addition of Sector 4 in the Red Sea represents a new extension of our operations in Egypt, while providing a valuable opportunity to expand our activities, and by working with a strategic partner such as Shell,” said Mubadala Petroleum CEO Bakheet Al Katheeri. “The search and exploration operations in this sector, if successful, will support our strategy of extracting and manufacturing hydrocarbons, in order to contribute to supporting the stability and expansion of the Egyptian market, while providing growth opportunities for our operations in the country.”

Mubadala Petroleum owns a 10 percent stake in the offshore Shurooq gas field concession that includes the Zohr natural gas field, in addition to 20 percent in the concession area of Noor Gas Company. Both are located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Egypt.