Post-Brexit Britain: Delivery Work in Northern Ireland

229 views This article is copyright free and is published in Career Management » Careers
Joined: Sep 02, 2016
2612 articles
With Brexit making daily headlines, the Irish border problem is recognised as one of particular importance and complexity. With the UK’s exit from the single market and the customs union on the horizon, the impact of a possible return to a ‘hard border’ on the haulage industry is worrying those involved in delivery work.

The Current Situation

Thanks to the Good Friday Agreement there are no security stops or checks along the 500km borderline between Northern Ireland and Ireland. Goods pass freely along the 250 roads which run through the boundary, making trade easy.

In a recent paper, the UK government declared that they wanted to avoid a return to a ‘hard border’ for the movement of goods. This has led to speculations about how a so-called ‘soft border’ would be achieved.

Likely Changes

There will probably be many changes to regulations which will affect delivery work in Northern Ireland. Firstly, key roads crossing the boundary could be monitored. Using current EU law as a guide, hauliers can expect about 6% - 8% of goods to be examined - about 600 lorries per day. It is also likely that each consignment would need its own paperwork for customs once the UK has left the customs union.

Impact on the Industry

Operators taking on just-in-time delivery work or an overnight service will be affected by the potential delays and time restrictions on crossing from the UK to the EU.

Due to an inevitable increase in paperwork there will be added costs for all involved in delivery work. Businesses will have to spend on new IT services and administrative staff to handle the data.

Seamus Leheny, policy and membership manager at FTA in NI, pointed out that delays cost money: “The running costs for a 44-tonne lorry [...] is £1 a minute, and those costs have to be covered by someone.”

Industry Responses

There has been concern over whether the government’s goals are realistic. Stephen Kelly, CEO of Manufacturing NI, said that it is ‘inevitable’ that there will be ‘a move away from enjoying a free movement of goods across the border’.

People like James Allen, MD of Allen logistics, are concerned for the future of their businesses. Allen says that any restrictions on movement of goods could damage his company, declaring that “there needs to be unrestricted travel 24/7 to make our business model viable”.


Some operators based in Northern Ireland are planning to head over the border to protect their business. However, there are some in the industry who think that a viable border solution will be found. One suggestion is to give goods produced in Northern Ireland special status through a certificate of origin; another is to track freight digitally through pre-registration and security cameras. Unfortunately, Vincent Waddell, MD of Surefreight, echoed many when he said: “I can’t grasp that anything short of stopping at a border is going to be acceptable to the EU.”
It’s possible that the Irish border will look very different in a few years’ time. Whatever the UK government and the EU decide on, the haulage industry should be braced for change.
About author: Desiree Michels

Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching delivery work with available drivers. Over 4,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment. 


Other article from Careers

A Haulier’s Guide to Jobs in Germany
Thanks to our freight exchange app, it has become easier and easier for haulage companies to advertise their vehicle capacity. Signing up to a freight exchange to maximise capacity can increase profits all round and is better for the environment as well. ...
View by 237 people
Posted by Desiree Michels in ,
Roll Up for the 2018 What Van? Awards
As transport industry awards go, the What Van? Awards is amongst the most high profile, attracting more than 200 of the industry’s most influential players from fleet managers to chief executives. This year’s ceremony – due to be held ...
View by 228 people
Posted by Desiree Michels in ,
Driver Safety: Choose the Right Shoes
Courier work for owner drivers can sometimes feel like a minefield of safety legislation and regulations, and keeping track of them can be tricky at times. But one of the most important safety aspects for a driver is often overlooked because it’s not ...
View by 244 people
Posted by Desiree Michels in ,
Jobisite Offers the Chance to Find Freelance Projects Quickly and Easily
September 18, 2017 - There is no dearth in the number of people who are looking for freelance jobs, and the lack of proper employment as well as the need for a better work-life balance is pushing more people to freelance projects. One of the top recruitment ...
View by 247 people
Posted by Sumanta Dutta in ,
Jobisite.Com Offers Freelance Gigs At Affordable Rates
September 18, 2017 - is a free website where people can post jobs for free. Recruiters can access resumes without paying any fees. This is a completely free platform, and offers affordable services – gigs to recruiters around the globe. ...
View by 245 people
Posted by Sumanta Dutta in ,