Courier confusion: licensing rule changes leave 1 in 4 UK courier companies in the dark

Courier confusion: licensing rule changes leave 1 in 4 UK courier companies in the dark

A new survey has revealed that as many as a quarter (24%) of courier businesses do not understand the new international licensing rules that came into force two weeks ago, and had not prepared for their implementation.

This has led to nearly one in three courier companies focusing their efforts on expanding operations in the UK this year, compared with just one in 20 looking to expand operations in the EU. The new rules mean even courier drivers taking goods to the EU must have an operator licence and fulfil various administrative requirements.

UK courier companies have seen surging demand – with just under half of courier companies delivering up to 50% more parcels than they did pre-Covid. If more companies were prepared for the rule change, they might have been able to capitalise on this high demand by expanding to the continent.

Of the businesses that do understand the rule change, one in seven believe they will have a negative impact on their business. 1 in 12 companies who understood the licensing rule changes failed to put any preparations in place prior to the changes being implemented in May (such as training or paperwork). Overall, 63% of couriers believe they will be impacted.

The Courier Support Survey – conducted by return loads platform Courier Exchange – includes input from 287 courier company owners and drivers across the UK. It highlights the greatest pressures within the industry, and the impact on company viability and employee health. It also offers insight on how industry issues can be overcome.

Almaz Cleary, sales manager at Courier Exchange, says: “The  cabotage rule changes are just one of the current challenges for the courier industry. Companies not fully understanding the changes will create both uncertainty and more bureaucracy.

“However, identifying and getting to grips with pressures like these is key to making positive progress as an industry.”

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