It is that time of year again when we reflect on the previous year, take stock of the current situation and project forward at what the New Year may bring. You may already have an idea where I’m going with this from the title?!

Usually the budgeting and forecasting at Anglia Freight is a fairly simple process of using historic results and nailing our flag to the mast for what we want to achieve for the next year. The slight snag this year is that we do not have the foggiest idea what the lay of the land will be for 2019.

Business leaders are having to make up to three or four strategy plans to cover the most likely eventualities of what life looks like once the BREXIT outcome is decided. It is not unusual for Companies to have multiple plans, but the problem we all face here is not just the whole uncertainty of criteria, but the sheer scale and magnitude of differences between the outcomes of one path to another.

One of Anglia Freight’s values and intentions is to always offer Peace of Mind to our Customers. I’ve mentioned before, it is a big deal for Customers to put their trust in us to deliver and look after their products which are in effect their livelihoods. We aim to be a key step in the sequence of steps to get product to market, where our Customers have complete faith and confidence in us to do our part effectively. Thus freeing up more time to focus on growing their own Business or in the next few months, potentially weathering whatever storm may arise.

So you could say that part of our Business model and plan for 2019 is ensure that we are the Calm amongst the Storm for our Customers, Suppliers and Staff. There will be a lot of valued work behind the scenes to do this and we will continue to thrive. Living by our values; Exceptional Service, Innovation, Peace of Mind and Loyalty, which will all help ensure we are a stand out, robust certainty in a sea of uncertainty that we find ourselves in today.

From all of us at Anglia Freight, regardless of the fun times ahead, we wish you a successful 2019 and look forward to continue working with you and growing from strength to strength.

Douglas Shawcross – Managing Director

As a proud sponsor of GoGoHares 2018, we can’t wait to see our hare on the GoGoHares sculpture trail which starts on June 24th. Before the launch, we decided to have some fun and ran a competition for one lucky person to win an IPad. All they had to do was find 25 images, corresponding to parts of our hare, hidden on our website and put them together to expose his identity. We used Twitter to promote the links where the images could be found, as well as revealing a bit about our hare in each tweet.

We have picked the lucky winner, but before we reveal all, here is the story of our hare.

 

Born in Jamaica with Norfolk ancestry

Our hare was born in Jamaica into a family of pirates. Although originally from the Caribbean, he had generations of family heralding from Norfolk. They were smugglers, plundering the coast and burying their treasure in barrels hidden in the marshes. In fact, our hare quickly became famous for stowing away in ships’ cargo, setting traps and making the crew walk the plank before capturing the vessel.

Introducing the formidable … the invincible … Captain Jack Rabbit

Captain Jack Rabbit is his name and he’s a very cool character indeed. He’s cheeky and fearless with a thirst for ‘hare-raising’ adventures, but at the same time, is rather distinguished and well known for his excellent manners. With an fl-hare for fashion, Captain Jack loves polka dots and stripes, but he is most famous for the patch over his right eye.

Some say he has a treasure map written on parchment hidden under his eye patch, but no one has ever been brave enough to take a look. He even sleeps with his other eye open, so that he can keep an eye on you! If he likes you, he’ll wink with his left eye and twitch his nose! If he doesn’t, he’ll stare deep into your soul and you will shudder!

How did our hare get his eye patch I hear you ask? He fought his mad Irish cousin, Jack O’Hare in a fierce battle to seize his ships the ‘Black Paw’ and the ‘Golden Carrot’. He won the battle and the vessels became his. On capturing the ‘Black Paw’, our hero removed the traditional skull and crossbones pirate flag and replaced it with a sinister black paw which has become our Captain’s feared trademark ever since.

Trinkets, jewels and 18 ‘carrot’ gold treasure

‘Hare today, gone tomorrow’ is our Captain’s mantra. He’s a very happy hare – in fact, some say he’s a true ‘hop-timist’, living to plunder ships, stealing gold and jewels, whatever the weather! Fast on his feet; he can leap more than ten feet in the air which is perfect for jumping up into the rigging when in battle.

His famous battle cry of ‘Hop to it’ is legendary. It can be heard echoing for over 100 miles when the moon is full and when the mist rolls in from the East. Known for his love of coins made from 18 ‘carrot’ gold, Captain Jack Rabbit is one of the wealthiest pirates in the land. Could some of the treasure be buried in Norfolk?

His most valuable haul of treasure? That’s easy; his loot of sapphires and black pearls from his arch-enemy, ‘Black John’ Jack Rabbit. Some say the jewels are hidden in Norfolk and that he’s back to claim what is rightfully his. Strangely enough, he only plunders ships when ‘Lepus’ or the ‘Hare’ constellation is seen at night in the southern hemisphere. A true sea robber at heart, he waits until he sees the brightest star before he attacks!

All pirates have a day off!

After an exhausting day plundering the high seas, Captain Jack Rabbit reclines in his straw bunk with a selection of carrot sticks for some well-earned rest and relaxation. With over 25 different varieties of carrot, ‘Nelson’ is his favourite as it reminds him of his much-loved sea fairing hero. He also loves music, tuning in to ‘The Bonny Black Hare’ by Steeleye Span in the crow’s nest. For a bit of fun, our Captain loves playing hopscotch and battleships! His favourite dance style? Hip-hop, of course, and his favourite film is ‘My F-Hare Lady.’

How did Captain Jack Rabbit arrive in Norfolk?

Some say that he hopped onto a British ‘Hare-ways’ flight and upon arriving in the UK, stowed away in one of our Anglia Freight lorries. So far, he’s been seen heading for Hare Clump in North Norfolk, seeking long-lost relatives and digging in Hare Wood near King’s Lynn, looking for ‘Black John’ Jack Rabbits lost gold. Rumour has it, he’s already sniffed out his next ‘hare’ raising adventure and vows to plunder the countryside, so watch out! He even has his own map to navigate the Norfolk waterways.

Our iPad winner

We hope you enjoyed the tale of Captain Jack Rabbit – we had great fun writing it! Thank you to everyone who followed our clues on Twitter and entered our competition.

We’re delighted to announce that the lucky winner of our iPad is Sam Fairman from Peterborough. Sam loves puzzles and it was his wife who spotted this one. However, unlike Sam, she prefers competitions, so asked Sam to do it instead. He said it wasn’t the easiest competition he’s entered as it took him a while to get all the pictures together and he was not expecting to win!

Asked how he felt about winning, Sam said, ‘No way! I couldn’t believe it! But I’m thrilled. I went along to Anglia Freight, last Tuesday, 5th June to receive my prize. I want to thank Anglia Freight for running the competition and honouring the prize. They are a lovely team, very hospitable and made me feel very welcome.’ Sam added, ‘Timing is perfect as I have an old tablet, but it’s getting worn out now and running slow. And as it’s an iPad Pro, I’ve bought an Apple pencil to do some drawing and writing on it. It’ll get lots of use, so thank you Anglia Freight!’

GoGoHare Spotting yourself!

Keep a lookout for Captain Jack Rabbit as part of the GoGoHares trail. Take a photo of yourself with our hare and tweet it tagging @AngliaFreight #GGH18 #AngliaFreight.

In January’s blog, we touched on some of the challenges that were facing both Anglia Freight and the logistics industry. One of these is around recruiting staff with the right skills and helping them progress their careers for the future. To address this, we’ve been doing our bit to help educate young people about the world of logistics. How did we do this? That’s easy! We sent Commercial Director, Ben Moulton and Business Support Manager, Gina Helm back to school!

Ben & Gina at Careers Week
Gina’s children attend Debenham High School and we found out they were running a Careers Week in February. Kevin Voller from the careers team invited us to talk to pupils about the benefits of having a career in logistics, highlighting the types of jobs that are available along with some surprising facts and figures. With prospects for all, we were keen to show there is more to haulage than just trucks and drivers!

UK haulage industry – Did you know?
• The UK haulage industry is worth £74 billion
• It is the UK’s fifth largest industry
• It has 498,000 trucks
• It employs 1.8 million people
• 600,000 of those are HGV drivers
• Trucks carry 85% of the UK’s goods
• By 2022, the UK’s logistics industry needs to recruit another 1.2 million people

New logistics blood needed
It is not surprising that 92% of the people who work in UK haulage are men, which means only 8% are women. Moreover, only 1% of the UK’s 600,000 HGV drivers are under 25! We need to act now to address the skills shortage as well as the lack of females and young people in the industry. This is important as the lack of skilled workers directly impacts our business now and in the future.

I’m leaving school this year…how do I start a career in logistics?
There are many ways you can start your logistics career such as:

• Government Trailblazer Apprentice Scheme. This is a new scheme with guaranteed training, assessments and certified qualifications as well as a proper job.
• Internships
• Graduate Schemes
• University Degree Courses
• School Advisors
• Speak to Ben or Gina at Anglia Freight on 01379 872872

What great feedback!
‘Both Gina and I were very impressed with all those who attended both in their behaviour and the way they engaged with the discussion. Their questions were considered and articulated in a way that many adults would be pleased with. All of the pupils were a credit to themselves, their teachers and the school and we would be delighted to attend the same week next year and any other career-based activities the High School run.’ – Ben Moulton

‘Many thanks for coming to school and helping to make careers week a success. I very much enjoyed your presentation and it helps me to gain a better understanding of this sector. One of the boys who attended tells me that he wants to work in haulage and I’m sure that it opened the eyes of other students to the potential opportunities that are available. I’m sure that I will get back in touch with you as we run an enterprise day in the summer term that involves working out costs etc for transporting goods to France. We have business mentors come in for the day, so somebody with knowledge of logistics would be very useful. I will pass the message onto the students.’ – Kevin Voller

What’s next?
Anglia Freight is looking to get involved with future activities not only with Debenham High School but with other schools too. If you’d like Gina and Ben to come along and feature in your school’s career activity, please call Anglia Freight on 01379 872872.

Doug Shawcross, MD of Anglia Freight shares his thoughts on 2017 and what he thinks 2018 has in store for Anglia Freight and the logistics industry.

Was 2017 a good year for Anglia Freight?
Anglia Freight enjoyed another year of impressive growth with company turnover up 22% for the third year running. We have welcomed on board several significant new customers and have enjoyed seeing our existing customers grow from strength to strength. With this we have also welcomed seven new positions into the company, ranging from additional drivers to strengthening our Customer Service and Transport teams.

What were the highs?
One of the highs would have to be winning the Palletline ‘Service Award’ as part of Palletline’s 25th Anniversary celebrations earlier in the year. We’ve also successfully rolled out our Anglia Freight Vision and Values, which have been positively embraced and integrated by the team. You can find out more by visiting our ‘About Us‘ page on our website.

What were the lows?
We’d been itching to get our Vision and Values presented to staff and it was frustrating that this took a while to get right. However, we’re glad we did it in the end, it just meant we had to sit on our hands for a bit!

Any challenges?
Like many other hauliers we’ve spoken to, there are some industry challenges around fuel price increases, skilled staff shortages and uncertain economic times. On the whole, we’ve dealt with these quite well by improving efficiencies and working as a team to ensure ‘it’s business as usual’ for our customers. We did find the beginning of 2017 sluggish, which seemed to reflect the nervous ‘wait and see’ mood of the country at the time. Luckily, this didn’t last long and as soon as things started hotting up and got going, we’ve not looked back since.

What top 3 things did you learn as a business?

1. We exist to realise and inspire potential to enrich people’s lives. This sentiment is now part of our Vision and Values.
2. We know that we deliver exceptional customer service, but it was great to have this validated by winning the Palletline ‘Service Award’. We must be doing something right!
3. We have outstanding people working for us that have thrived under the challenging conditions presented by our growth. I would like to thank the staff who showed enormous dedication when there quite literally seemed to be not enough hours in the day but somehow made it happen.

What are you going to do better?
We have some big plans to ensure our customers continue to get the best customer service and highest service levels in our industry. All we can say is…watch this space!

In 3 words, sum up what 2017 meant for Anglia Freight
1. Growth
2. Determination
3. Teamwork

What are the top 3 big things happening for Anglia Freight in 2018?
1. It’s our 25th Anniversary! We are sure to be celebrating in style!
2. We are currently working on some very exciting IT improvements with our Palletline network and other providers that will enhance efficiencies and ensure peace of mind for our customers.
3. With buoyant volumes expected to continue, we will carry on resourcing and enhancing our processes to keep continuity and service levels high.

What do you think will be the challenges for Anglia Freight in 2018?
There is still uncertainty over the BREXIT negotiations, so we’ll see where these go. However, the biggest challenge is going to be recruiting the right skilled staff and ensuring we can help them progress their careers for the future.

What are the big things to look out for within the freight industry?
With Innovation at the forefront of our mind, we are always keen to look out for new technology that could help improve our processes as well as where progress within the industry is headed.

Give me 3 words that illustrate what we will see from Anglia Freight in 2018
1. Celebrations
2. Loyalty
3. (Exceptional) Service!

We published our first Brexit blog, back on the 29th June 2016,  a few days after the EU Referendum had taken place and the UK had voted to leave the European Union.  So, what’s happened since then?

Article 50 has been Activated

Article 50 is the formal legal process by which the UK will leave the EU.  Part of the Lisbon Treaty, formed in 2009, Article 50 details a five-step process which is put in place if any country wishes to leave the European Union.  Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 on the 29th March 2017.  It allows for two years of negotiations to take place between the UK and the EU to agree on exit terms which the remaining 27 members states vote to approve.

If an agreement is not reached, negotiating times could be extended, but for the moment, the UK is scheduled to leave the EU on Friday, 29th March 2019, with an exit deal agreed and all existing trade agreements ceasing to apply.

Brexit options and possible outcomes

Four months since negotiations started,  mixed messages continue to circulate about what Brexit means for us, our customers and the entire UK logistics and supply chain industry.  Even if the UK and the EU agree to replicate a trade agreement similar to those it has with Switzerland, Norway or Turkey, (none of which satisfy the UK’s trade requirements), 18 months is not long enough to implement a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).  This leaves the UK with two options:

Option 1 – ‘Hard Brexit’:

  • Here, the UK is free to broker its own worldwide trade agreements. However, as of 30th March 2019, all UK imports and exports will be subject to the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) most favoured nation tariffs.  In other words, imports and exports will become more expensive.
  • Free Trade Agreements will also need to be negotiated with each country individually, but even the most simple FTAs take a minimum of five years to agree and adopt. With the UK being a much smaller country than some of our EU counterparts, it will not have the same negotiating power with larger countries such as China and the USA.

Option 2 – ‘Soft Brexit’:

  • Here, the UK would need to agree on a Transitional Arrangement with other EU countries. i.e. a ‘copy and paste’ of current EU legislation into UK law. This would allow the UK to continue to trade freely with the EU and its partners while allowing more time to broker a full trade deal with the EU and the rest of the world.
  • The issue with soft Brexit is that it prolongs everything. Not only is it feared that this would damage UK businesses, but it could cause more multinationals to relocate their businesses  The UK will no longer have a voice in the EU so it will be forced to abide by legislation without having any voting rights.

Impacts of Brexit upon Imports and Exports

So, what happens when the UK leaves the EU?  We’re hoping that the UK government will negotiate a good deal for both the importing and exporting of goods into the EU. However, there are some real impacts worth considering when our ‘new’ UK border is in place.

Currently…

  • Lots of European businesses move goods in free circulation throughout the EU, e. they have been subjected to the payment of VAT and duty in the country into which they entered Europe.
  • The subsequent sale and movement of these goods requires no checks and with minimal paperwork, only small delays and negligible border issues result.
  • The EU allows for periodic reporting of these movements via Intrastat. These VAT & EU sales reports allow for the combination of all individual shipment reports, which is far more efficient than having to submit a report for each.

 Once the UK leaves the EU…

  • All movement of goods will immediately become genuine imports and exports and will be subject to border checks and will require full import/export declarations. This drain on business administrative resources could have severe implications on their performance and profitability by adding time and cost to the supply chain.
  • Increased border inspections and import clearance requirements will slow up the transition time of goods as they pass through ports and borders, creating delays and disruption.
  • The administration costs for the importer will increase as additional documentation containing full fiscal details of the shipment will need to be submitted at the time of import.
  • Submitting a complete declaration into HMRC’s customs system, CHIEF will increase the cost of submissions as forwarders and agents will also have to charge for their time.
  • Manufacturing industries such as the motor trade could be severely affected by the imposition of taxes. They currently move parts and finished goods freely throughout the EU, but without an FTA, could attract a duty of up to 10%.

Top 3 Actions To Get Brexit Ready

The EU will not agree to the UK remaining in the Customs Union without being a full member of the EU,  so having triggered Article 50 this is not an option open to the UK.  It looks likely that post-Brexit the UK will adopt the EU customs legislation, the Union Customs Code (UCC), which came into force in May 2016.

Whatever Brexit option is agreed, the following three key actions will help you get Brexit-ready.  They are guaranteed to help you save costs, give you a competitive edge and allow your goods to fast-track through the new UK border.

Action 1 – Review your supply chain now

  • Start talking to your customers, suppliers, forwarders and agents. Map out and fully understand how your goods are currently moved from supplier to end user.
  • Study your supply chain. Businesses that currently import or export outside the EU will probably have processes and procedures in place to manage VAT and duty payments on import. However, the terms of Brexit may affect your ability to import or export duty-free.
  • Ask suppliers about the origin of your goods, i.e. the “economic” nationality of goods. Having proof of origin is imperative to claim any reduction in duty. If you buy or sell from any of the countries that the EU has agreements with then your sale or purchase could be affected by the terms of Brexit.  Companies that currently only trade with the EU27 group of countries, i.e. have ‘Intra EU movements’ will need to start talking to their suppliers, forwarders and agents to ensure that they can perform the necessary export/import requirements.  You must also have a system in place to cope with the payment of any taxes that may be due.
  • Check out the list of EU countries.

Action 2 – Review your existing and new contracts

  • Review both your current and new contracts with your customers and suppliers and agree on sensible Incoterms®2010 rules which will ensure that you mitigate risks and minimise transit costs.
  • Check out the map EU trade agreements.
  • Check you have the correct terms in place. Having the incorrect terms in place could result in your business losing margin from unexpected transit costs or if goods are lost or damaged, resulting in insurance disputes and unforeseen expenses to put things right.

Action 3 – Review and update your internal processes and procedures

  • Apply for customs authorisations and simplifications like AEO, Customs Warehousing and Inward & Outward Processing Reliefs now. They are all dependant on your activities but could help you mitigate import and export costs and reduce risk.

How We Can Help

  • Don’t leave the above actions on your to-do list!
  • Anglia Freight works closely with Import Export Support, a local company that helps and advises us on Brexit issues. They are also able to step in and provide some Brexit advice for you.  They have extensive experience in dealing with international trade and HMRC, working with companies on their authorisations and procedures to help smooth out the ripples in the supply chain and to reduce the cost of moving stock around the globe.   They have submitted several successful duty reclaims, set up a customs warehouse, gained customs simplifications and work closely with HMRC on improving import compliance for their clients.
  • Call us on 01379 872872 or check out angliafreight.co.uk.
  • Call Tracey Renshaw at Import Export Support on 07710 238113

Finally, a huge thank you to Tracey Renshaw at IES, who provided us with the very latest information to help us make this blog as informative and useful as possible.