Post-Brexit shipping: 4 tips for how software can help
Brexit & logistics software

Post-Brexit shipping: 4 tips for how software can help

A lot of changes are in store for EU-UK trade starting in January 2021. How can shipping software help you meet these challenges after the end of the post-Brexit transition period?

Negotiations for an EU-UK free trade agreement are still ongoing. The outcome is far from certain, but one thing we do know: Big changes are in store when the post-Brexit transition period ends on January 1, 2021. 

That’s because on that date, the United Kingdom leaves the EU Customs Union. A new EU-UK customs border with customs formalities will emerge, making the UK a “third country” under EU customs law. 

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Preparing your shipping processes for post-Brexit

The end of the transition period will present challenges for logistics, which is why most companies have been preparing their own processes for some time now. “Support from the right software in particular can be a huge success factor,” say Andrej Grohar and Andreas Kuttler, Product Managers for Logistics at AEB. 

Grohar and Kuttler zero in on four areas that logistics managers should keep in mind when it comes to shipping software, and explain how the AEB software Carrier Connect can help out here:

1. Stability in post-Brexit shipping processes and transport partnerships

How robust and elastic are your own shipping processes? Businesses should fix any remaining vulnerabilities before January 1 and stress-test their software to ensure that shipping orders, shipping documents, labels, and EDI messages function properly and are automatically formatted correctly for each transport partner. Every carrier has its own IT systems and its own unique specifications for the content and format of labels, barcodes, loading lists, and EDI messages. There’s no guarantee that these formats won’t change when the post-Brexit transition ends.

“All carrier updates are automatically made available in our Carrier Connect software,” Grohar point out. “Labels and EDI formats always match the latest specs. AEB even handles updates to carrier routing data and service area lists, giving you that much less to worry about.”

2. Flexibility in your carrier portfolio

Carriers and parcel services have been preparing for Brexit for a long time. All the same: Some will cope with the challenges better than others. Having flexibility in your carrier portfolio means that if problems arise, you can respond appropriately and simply switch carriers.

“Carrier Connect gives businesses access to a network of more than 180 carriers and parcel services with more than 500 different services – including transport partners with extensive experience in international commerce,” Kuttler explains, adding that it’s faster and easier to switch carriers within the ever-expanding network.

3. Finding the right post-Brexit shipping services and transport partners

“Many package delivery companies offer services to make international shipping processes simpler and more cost-effective. Logistics managers should check whether these services make sense for shipments into and out of the UK after January 1, 2021,” advises Andreas Kuttler.
Such services include the electronic transmission of customs documents such as commercial invoices or export accompanying documents like FedEx® Electronic Trade Documents, UPS Paperless Invoice, or DHL Paperless Trade.

This also simplifies customs formalities, since transporters can consolidate multiple shipments to third countries and clear the combined shipment through customs under a single commercial invoice that lists all the individual shipments. Once customs clearance is complete, the packages are delivered to their respective recipients. This includes services such as DHL EXPRESS BREAKBULK and UPS World Ease. AEB Carrier Connect makes it easy to select and use these services – and many more.

Sometimes, when accuracy and quality assurance are of utmost importance, a logistics service provider or customs broker handles the customs declarations. Software can help here as well: AEB Customs Broker Integration gives businesses end-to-end electronic communications with service providers. This helps ensure compliance, cut costs, and accelerate processes.

4. Software increases transparency in shipping processes in post-Brexit reality

In the post-Brexit reality, businesses that can effectively track and trace their own shipments will enjoy many advantages. “First of all, they can quickly identify disruptions in their own shipping processes and respond accordingly,” says Grohar. “But beyond that, they can also track how reliable their transport partners are, then work with them to fix any problems more quickly.” You can also automate quick, proactive communications with customers in the event of delays.

Broad support for shipping and all things Brexit

Besides the four main points above, there are many other areas in which software can take the stress out of post-Brexit shipping. For efficient customs processes, AEB offers Export Filing and Import Filing solutions to help with customs declarations in the UK, Germany, and many more countries.

And to support all freight cost management processes, such as the auditing of incoming freight invoices, AEB offers Freight Cost Management.