Malcolm Gough, Group Sales & Marketing Director Talasey Group is BMBI’s Expert for Natural Stone Landscaping Products, Vitrified Paving & Artificial Grass.
The impact of Brexit will depend on which Brexit we get, and some outcomes will be worse than others. None are likely to be ideal for a large importer of materials like ourselves.
As Brexit is about Britain leaving the European Union, I believe some of our customers think that products from India and Asia won’t be affected. That may be true to some extent but if there are bottlenecks at the ports, everything the UK imports will be affected.
Ninety five percent of our product range is imported from countries such as India, China and Italy, but the landscaping supply chain could be severely affected as most suppliers of landscaping products import through a European port, even if it’s not from the EU. Some large vessels call off at Rotterdam, for example, to move containers to smaller vessels in order to shunt them over to UK ports which have shallower waters.
As a company preparing for Brexit, we have imported a lot more product than we had forecast for the first quarter of this year and have stockpiled it in case conditions become difficult. That affects both cash flow and storage space. As I’m writing these comments everyone is buying huge quantities of stock and finding ways to store volume. This is a concern because we, along with other landscape suppliers, import from or through a European port. If the politicians get Brexit wrong, we will all be affected.
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