Guest blog: Brexit: the ‘gift’ of trading chaos for small businesses that keeps on giving

As Confectionery Production has reported over the past few years, Brexit has continued to cause companies across the UK and continental Europe a number of significant financial and administrative burdens that have significantly impacted on their ability to trade. Here, Oliver Shorts, co-owner of ethically-founded British confectionery brand, Seed & Bean recounts the latest incident to befall the business in attempting to simply deliver goods to Europe.

Over three years on from Brexit the aftermath continues to unfold, revealing unexpected challenges and absurdities in the world of logistics. In this blog post, we embark on a journey down the absurdity lane of post-Brexit trade, exploring a particular chocolate-filled mishap that perfectly encapsulates the intricacies of the new era in European trade.

The Chocolate Escapade: Picture this: A diligently prepared pallet bound for the Netherlands, filled with visions of seamless trade (just a reminder that this was promised) dancing in the minds of exporters. However, this tale takes an unexpected turn as the forwarder, the unsung hero of our logistics saga, decides that the pallet is not quite ready for its Dutch adventure. The reason? A humble checkbox that someone forgot to tick. Yes, you read that right – a checkbox standing between our delectable chocolates and their European escapade.

Welcome to the world of Brexit bureaucracy, where even the smallest oversight can send your goods on an unplanned detour. The absurdity of the situation becomes evident as our chocolate-laden pallet is brought back to the UK due to the omission of a single checkbox. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a tiny detail, but it has the power to disrupt the flow of trade and create unexpected hurdles. One might assume that since the goods had actually been delivered to our customer that these formalities could be done retrospectively but alas this wasn’t the case. So two days after the goods landed into our customers warehouse they had arrived back into the UK, boxes ticked and sent back out.

Navigating the post-Brexit logistics landscape has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. Surprises lurk around every corner, and the chocolate debacle serves as a perfect example of the challenges businesses face in this new era of trade. The need for meticulous attention to detail, understanding complex regulations, and adapting to the ever-evolving landscape has become a crucial aspect of international commerce.

As we share this crazy tale, it’s a moment for businesses to collectively roll their eyes at the absurdity of it all. The humor in these situations may be hidden beneath the layers of paperwork, but it’s essential to find a silver lining amidst the chaos. By sharing experiences and commiserating with fellow exporters, we can navigate the challenges together and perhaps even find a chuckle in the midst of the logistics labyrinth. The logistics labyrinth may be complex, but together, we can navigate its twists and turns with resilience and a shared sense of camaraderie.

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