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Latvijas auto: Brexit could complicate Europe’s road freight transport industry

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Britain’s exit from the European Union could affect EU’s freight flow and logistics, creating pressure on competition, says Latvijas Auto Chairman Andris Lubāns.

He says Brexit will definitely affect the freight transport industry, but not as much as to complicate things for Latvian carriers in the UK. The effect will be on Europe’s general flow of freights and their logistics. «For example, Polish carriers are currently very active on the British market. If some problems surface there, vehicles and drivers will be diverted to elsewhere in Europe, creating pressure on competition there,» explains Lubāns.

«Of course, Brexit will not cut off UK’s food – the flow of freight there will not change much. Brexit’s main influence will be changing customs procedures and additional requirements that will likely make the service more expensive,» says Lubāns, adding that it is hard to predict how it could happen. Nevertheless, Latvian carriers should not experience existential problems because of Brexit. «It will depend on producers’ decision to continue carrying goods from Latvia to Britain after Brexit,» says Latvijas Auto chairman.

Lubāns says Brexit could also influence the volume of freight, which is why it is hard to predict how this could change.

He says a couple of years ago there was a small but stable cargo turnover increase of 5-10% annually. However, the situation is made worse by the sanctions against Russia, which have reduced the volume of cargoes in this direction. «Last year, we observed that the volume was stable when compared to 2017. We’ve yet to see any major changes either way. But I would like to hope for some growth next year,» he concluded.


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