Firms stockpiling goods fearing post-Brexit chaos, says Bamber Bridge transport chief

Anxious companies are stockpiling goods fearing post-Brexit supply problems, the boss of one of the country's top transport firms has revealed.

Friday, 29th March 2019, 12:21 pm
Updated Friday, 29th March 2019, 2:33 pm
W H Bowker is one of the country's top transport firms

Bill Bowker, director of the Bowker Group which includes a transport arm, said the firm's warehouses were practically full.

Clients including supermarkets are taking no chances amid the continuing uncertainty over Brexit.

Bamber Bridge-based W H Bowker Ltd provides international transport and warehousing services from distribution centres located throughout the UK.

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Many of its clients are anxious over what the future may hold, with possible delays, tarrifs and chaos predicted once Britain leaves the EU.

Mr Bowker said the firm, which transports large amounts of food and chemicals in particular, was definitely seeing companies stockpiling supplies.

He was concerned about exported goods clearing customs quickly in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

He said: "We have been prepared for it for quite a long time - not only us but our customers.

"If we have a hard Brexit there will be delays - whether it be minutes, hours or days, no-one really knows."

Mr Bowker added: "People are certainly stockpiling. Our warehouses are full - there is no capacity."

He said Bowker and other firms would learn to adapt whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

But at the moment, with no deal in place, there was confusion and uncertainty.

Earlier this week, politicians were blasted for “letting British business down” over their handling of Brexit.

Dr Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said businesses were “angry and frustrated” at Westminster.

He said: “Too many critical questions remain unanswered. No-one would run a business like this, and it is no way to run a country.

MPs were today (Friday) voting once again to get partial agreement on the Brexit withdrawal agreement, but it was felt that it was unlikely to succeed.

*For a special feature on the 100th anniversary of W H Bowker, see Tuesday’sPost