UK unveils Border Operations Centre: but is it too little too late to avert a Brexit import crisis?

The UK government revealed this week that it has established a border operations centre to monitor the flow of goods and travellers in and out of the country. It’s hoped that the facility will alleviate some of the anticipated border disruption that could last months as the country leaves the single market and customs union.

Regardless of whether there is a post-Brexit trade deal, french authorities will impose full EU customs and controlled goods checks on all goods arriving from Britain from January 1. Current legislation states that all produce must be inspected at its first port of call into the UK.

Ministers fear the checks could lead to queues on this side of the Channel, with the possibility of up to 7,000 lorries waiting for two days in tailbacks. It will also affect the shelf life and route to market of a significant amount of the UK’s fresh produce increasing wastage amounts and CO2 emissions.

These concerns are shared by some of the UK’s key players in the logistics, shipping and import/export industry.

Mike Parr is director of global fresh produce cargo specialists, Perishable Movements Limited (PML). His team has been importing fresh produce from outside of the UK since 2003 and reiterates the concerns raised by ministers.

“We’re so close to Brexit; it’s imperative that the government start addressing key questions if we are to ensure that our borders can cope with leaving the European Union.” 

“Who will be running these facilities and where will they find and train the staff needed to deliver a service that meets the exacting standards of DEFRA inspectors and vets?”

Mike Parr’s comments reflect the wider industry atmospherics that query why the government has failed to call upon the expertise of commercial companies practiced in the day-to-day handling and processing of imported produce.

Earlier in November PML opened it’n new Border Control Post (BCP) in Spalding to streamline and fasttrack its process of importing fresh produce to the UK while future proofing against Brexit chaos for its customers.

“There are a number of purpose built handling facilities across the UK which the government should be using as inspection facilities to relieve the pressure on the UK’s ports. By failing to consult with industry experts, consumers and businesses that work with imported goods face a bleak start to 2021 which will affect national supply chains, transportation links and much more. This is not what the industry needs after a difficult year navigating Covid-19”, added Mike.

Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves said ministers were “once again” putting the “burden on businesses to prepare for the end of the transition period, when it has not explained what it is those businesses are getting ready for”.

She continued: “The government is rebadging a basic element of preparation but still can’t tell us how many customs agents are recruited or trained or whether crucial IT is ready.

“With glaring questions like these still unanswered, this government must do much more than just ‘demand action’ from UK businesses, already under huge pressure from the pandemic – and instead provide them with some much needed answers.”

Inside PML’s purpose built Border Control Post and DEFRA inspection area

Keeping imported products fresh, clearing customs, DEFRA compliance and a faster route to market, let’s head inside the world of expert logistics and freight movement company Perishable Movements Limited.

It’s been a busy few months, but we’re delighted with our new purpose build Border Control Post (BCP) and DEFRA inspection facility which will keep our clients’ produce fresher for longer and speed up its route to market.

Fully kitted out with scales, magnifying lamps and washing areas, the DEFRA inspection area is completely compliant with UK import customs regulations. It is also set-up to ensure that Covid-19 guidelines as outlined by Public Health England and the UK Government are fully implemented. This includes measures to ensure social distancing can be adhered to by DEFRA inspectors and PML employees. The facility is also cleaned down and sanitised after every inspection.

Inside the Spalding located main warehouse and customs bonded area, you will find a fully approved HM Customs Border Control Post. With the opening of this facility in early November 2020, PML Ltd are able to hold large amounts of uncleared product from the multiple containers and vehicles that arrive at the site throughout the day.

Within the temperature controlled facility, purpose-built equipment such as racking systems are installed to increase capacity for both product awaiting inspection and for product that has passed through the DEFRA inspection area. All produce is kept at the optimum temperature for fresh goods of between 2-4 °C. Any produce that has failed the DEFRA inspection process is stored separately, well away from the other products in the warehouse.

What happens to the produce that fails the DEFRA inspection? As part of PML’s commitment to environmental sustainability and pledge to reduce wastage, all produce that fails DEFRA inspection is taken to an Anaerobic Digestion plant where it is turned into methane to generate electricity.

Want to know how PML can help streamline your freight movement of fresh produce and speed up your perishable goods route to market?

Get in touch:

+44 (0)20 8893 2666 or quotations@pml-ltd.com

PML announces innovative solution to border control delays

PML, the global perishable cargo specialist is partnering with transport and logistics company FreshLinc to operate an HMRC / DEFRA approved Border Control Post (BCP) and ERT (bonded warehouse) facility at Fresh Linc’s Spalding HQ, enabling a speedier movement of product from the ports and extending shelf life by up to 48 hours.

The BCP which has been in development for the last four months, will be effective from 1st January 2021 and represents a £400,000 investment. This includes the creation of a purpose-built 10,000 sq ft warehouse with the ability to store 330 pallets; dedicated inspection areas for customs and DEFRA and the training of four new dedicated staff to run the 24-hour operation.

The decision to set up a BCP away from the ports – Spalding is within easy reach of both Dover and Southampton docks – is in direct response to the ongoing delays and excessive queues which currently impede the onward movement of freight. The imperative to take action is amplified given the specialist and sensitive nature of PML’s cargo – the majority of consignments require temperature-controlled conditions – and the anticipated further disruptions likely to be caused post Brexit.

The long-standing and trusted working relationship between the two companies has enabled a seamless journey from the inception of the idea to create a dedicated BCP at FreshLinc’s 70,000 sq ft site, to completion of all the works required to meet the demanding criteria as defined by HMRC and DEFRA.

“This is a great opportunity for us to work with PML to maintain the continuation of the food supply chain especially against the backdrop of the uncertain times we are now facing as a result of the challenges posed by Brexit and the coronavirus. The BCP is a perfect example of two like-minded businesses coming together to provide an innovative solution to an industry problem.”

Lee Juniper, Operations Director at FreshLinc.

“This venture will enable us to move product much faster from the ports, cut down on wasted journeys and should ultimately deliver a minimum of 24-48 hours additional shelf life on all our customers’ products. Our priority is to guarantee the safe and timely transfer of goods, ensuring that there are no breaks in the cold chain. By creating a remote BCP, we are no longer constrained by the issues at the ports and PML is able to operate and manage its own facility.”

PML Sales Director, Nick Finbow.

PML flying high with new airfreight charter service

PML flying high with new airfreight charter service

Twice-weekly service will fly from Nairobi to London carrying essential perishable cargos

We’re thrilled to announce the news that we are now chartering our own airfreight flights. The investment comes as we seek to expand the commercial offering of PML as a leading global perishable cargo specialist. Our new airfreight flights will compliment our pivotal role in maintaining the supply of fresh produce during the pandemic, post Brexit and in support of new UK trade deals.

We’re working in partnership with Kenya Airways and have chartered a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft that will fly from Nairobi to Heathrow twice a week, carrying essential perishable goods on behalf of PML’s clients looking to export out of Kenya. 

The two weekly flights began on 18 November and will be able to carry 36 tonnes of cargo per flight. From January, post planned modifications to the aircraft, the capacity will increase to 42 tonnes.

With the flights departing at 04.00 GMT on Wednesdays and Sundays, PML are now able to successfully deliver fresh produce into the UK on the same day as it left Nairobi, representing the speedy transfer that is key to maintaining the quality and shelf life of any fresh produce consignment. 

The move to charter a bespoke PML air freight flight comes hot on the heels of the company setting up a dedicated in-house charter air freight service to cater for the increasing demand for the transfer of perishable goods by air. 

“We remain committed to providing a seamless service to our clients. With competition to secure availability on chartered air freight services becoming increasingly intense, we were keen to identify a solution that would ensure our ability to guarantee the fastest transfer of perishable goods. The response to this service has been very positive. We anticipate that flights will be operating at full capacity, both up to Christmas and beyond. We are driving forward towards Brexit and are well prepared to navigate restrictions that are likely to severely impact on the supply chain business.”

PML sales director Nick Finbow.

Take a look at the press coverage so far:

PML flying high with new airfreight charter service

http://www.fruitnet.com/eurofruit/article/183571/pml-flying-high-with-new-airfreight-charter-service

https://www.freshplaza.com/article/9269936/pml-to-start-new-air-freight-charter-service-from-kenya/

https://centreforaviation.com/news/kenya-airways-and-pml-launch-nairobi-london-cargo-service-for-produce-1038718

https://www.fpcfreshtalkdaily.co.uk/

https://www.logupdateafrica.com/uk-kenya-ink-deal-for-tarifffree-fresh-produce-trade-trade-e-commerce

UK-Kenya deal secures tariff-free fresh produce trade

After months of negotiations, Kenya and the United Kingdom have concluded a Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that will strengthen the relationship between UK importers and Kenyan exporters, while providing Kenyan farmers with the opportunity to expand their presence in the UK  post end of the transition period. 

Perishable Movements Limited (PML) will continue to provide logistics support to Kenyan exporters and UK importers and have recently, expanded their operation to include freighter from Kenya in anticipation of the increased demand for temperature-controlled transportation from the region. 

Kenya has the largest economy in East Africa and is among the top 10 economies across the continent. It is a major supplier of cut flowers, tea, coffee, fruits like avocados, mangoes and passionfruit as well as vegetables including sugar snaps, herbs and snow peas to the UK. 

Many of these exported goods have a shelf life that averages 21 days and under, so ensuring that trading between the countries runs smoothly and without delay is of key importance to PML.

The most imported goods to the UK from Kenya in 2019 were in coffee, tea and spices (£121 million), vegetables (£79 million) live trees and plants and flowers (£54 million). The UK market accounts for 43% of total exports of vegetables from Kenya as well as at least 9% of cut flowers; this agreement will support Kenyans working in these sectors by maintaining tariff-free market access to the UK. It also guarantees continued market access for UK exporters, who together sold £815m in goods and services to Kenya last year.

The trade deal means there will be less red-tape for exporters and no increase in price to consumers. The partnership also offers new opportunities for businesses to expand into Europe from the UK post-BREXIT. The trade deal means that PML will continue to be able to handle customs clearance, the tracking of goods and the handling of products through its temperature-controlled bonded warehouse without hindrance after 31st December. 

Nick Finbow, Sales Director, Perishable Movements Limited; “We believe this deal will greatly enhance the trade partnership between Kenya and the UK. It will allow Kenyan fresh produce to continue to flow unhindered by duties into the UK, and allow the UK public to continue to purchase and enjoy quality products without increased charges to the UK consumer.”

UK International Trade Minister, Ranil Jayawardena;  “I look forward to forging further trade ties with Kenya – the largest economy in the region – and working with other East African countries to agree trade continuity, harnessing free and fair trade to secure shared prosperity for our peoples.”

The Kenya-UK EPA will deliver a comprehensive package of benefits, including secure, long-term and predictable market access for East African Community exports and enhanced privileges for agricultural goods, even if they pass through the 27 EU countries. Other members of the EAC trade block will be able to join the agreement when they are ready.

This is the sixth bilateral trade deal between the UK and Kenya a trade deal already worth £1.4billion a year. The UK is, by far, the largest foreign investor in Kenya. The value of British investment in Kenya was estimated at £2.7 billion in 2017 with over 220 UK firms setting up businesses in the country.

*Trade statistics taken from ONS UK total trade: all countries non-seasonally adjusted January to March 2020.

PML Appoints Youngest Board Director & Upweights Imports Division

PML APPOINTS YOUNGEST BOARD DIRECTOR & UPWEIGHTS IMPORTS DIVISION

September 2020: PML continues to buck the national trend for downsizing and is upweighting its senior management team with the promotion of Ryan Parr to the position of Operations Director.

Parr joined the business in 2013 at the age of 18 and during his seven-year tenure he has worked across many areas of the company to gain a strong understanding of the global logistics sector. At 25, Parr will be the youngest Director in the company’s 17-year history with direct responsibility for the day to day running of PML’s operations, exports, warehouse, transport and Sea Freight.

In addition, the successful logistics solution provider for the perishable goods sector has recruited three new Import clerks to join its busy Imports department. The move to increase resource in this sector of the business is designed to ensure PML has sufficient time to train its lead Import operators to bring them completely up to speed with the new regulations associated with the impending Brexit deal, underpinning the company’s commitment to helping its clients achieve compliance via a best in class customer service.

Nick Finbow, Sales Director for PML comments, “Ryan’s promotion to Operations Director is indicative of PML’s policy of nurturing and recognising in-house talent and wherever possible, promoting from within the organisation to provide staff with a working environment that offers genuine career progression opportunities. Obviously, our priority is to always find the best people for the job so this sometimes means that we need to recruit externally. PML is focused on maintaining a board of directors who have the ability to continue to drive the business forward, embracing emerging technologies and the latest innovations to uphold the company’s leading position in the global logistics sector.”

Logistics UK shortlists PML for two Awards!

News just in, Logistics UK have shortlisted PML in two categories for their 2020 Awards!

PML are delighted to announce that we are in the running for Logistics UK’s prestigious “Air Business of the Year Award” where we are competing against three other companies.

We are extremely proud that Ryan Parr our Operations Director, has been nominated for their “Rising Star of the Year Award”. We will be thrilled if he is selected over the other 6 nominees, please keep your fingers crossed for him!

Logistics UK will announce the winners at their Awards Dinner in December, for full details please see:

https://www.ukhaulier.co.uk/news/road-transport/awards/logistics-uk-announces-shortlist-for-its-2020-awards/

PML Creates New Charter Freight Manager Role

Perishable Movements Ltd (PML) has appointed Gustavo Mundel into the newly created role of Charter Freight Manager.

Mundel joins the business with a solid track record in chartering air freight having worked on both sides of the business, acting for airlines as well as operating as an independent Charter Broker. Most recently, Mundel worked as the Regional Business Development Manager for an Antonov-124 aircraft carrier specialising in outsized cargo. Prior to this he was the Director of Global Sales & Business Development for a private air charter provider, a role which was preceded by spending almost eight years with two major aircraft charter specialists.

A graduate in Aviation Business Management, the new appointment is indicative of a milestone for both parties: since this is the first time that Mundel has worked directly for a logistics company; while for PML the Charter Freight Manager position represents an exciting extension of in-house resources.

Speaking about the decision to invest in a dedicated charter freight resource, Sales Director Nick Finbow commented, “These are certainly challenging times for any logistics business both in terms of the coronavirus pandemic but also given the uncertainties associated with Brexit and the potential for additional restrictions to be imposed on the movement of goods from one country to another. PML is committed to maintaining its best in class service for the transfer of perishable and refrigerated cargo. The company’s reputation for excellence is based on its ability to identify the optimum supply chain routes for its customers and with air freight representing an increasingly attractive proposition, we are keen to bring in specialist expertise to always ensure access to the optimum air trade lanes. This additional business intelligence adds to our credibility as a global one-stop logistics solution, offering a portfolio of services including storage, packing and freight forwarding – all delivered with a shared dedication to quality customer service; timely, seamless transfers and strict adherence to agreed budgets.”  

PML LTD = Business As Usual!

PML, the global perishable cargo specialist is reassuring its customers, that despite the growing impact of the coronavirus, they are still operating a full service to fulfil their important role in the continued supply of perishable goods.

Whilst the current travel restrictions are making for more challenging times, the company is working tirelessly to identify new channels and transport solutions to overcome any cancelled or rescheduled routes. Managing Director Mike Parr said, “Our message to customers is simple, if you can get your goods to us, we will do our utmost to get your products from point of origin to their destination. PML has an established 17-year heritage in the sector so our network of contacts is second to none. Where necessary we are in a position to arrange air freight services and even charter flights for clients if needed. Our robust crisis management policies are in operation and we are confident that we can work together with our customers to maintain the supply chain and ensure the continued transfer of their products.”

As ever, the business is doing everything to protect and safeguard the workforce and play its part in preventing the spread of the virus, in line with government recommendations. Additional measures that have been taken include: splitting shifts and allowing appropriate staff to work from home; quadrupling of the already stringent and high-level cleansing programme effort at all PML facilities; mandatory wearing of gloves for all packing and warehouse staff and the provision of cleaning kits to all truck drivers to enable them to clean down cabs, door handles and anything they touch before, during and after each shift. The recent roll-out of PML’s new fleet of lorries featuring the innovative powered roller bed floor system has further reduced the amount of direct handling / touching of goods by facilitating the effective loading and unloading of cargo by a single operator.

PML is a family owned business that provides logistics solutions across both import and export operations, moving perishable (and non-perishable) goods by air, by sea and by road.

If you have any concerns or would like to speak to us about how we can assist then please contact the PML team on +44 (0)20 8893 2666 or email sales@perishablemovements.com

URGENT NEWS – Business As Usual Post TRUMP ANNOUNCEMENT

Following President Trump’s announcement of strict travel restrictions for 30 days, from Europe to the US, in a bid to combat the spread of the coronavirus, PML – the global perishable cargo specialists – advises a solution is available to overcome this dramatic turn of events.

The new rules, which go into effect on Friday 13th, at midnight, are directed at the 26 European states in the Schengen area but does not include the UK or Ireland.

Nick Finbow, Sales Director at PML commented, “We recognise the major concerns this will cause for so many of our clients but for us, it is very much business as usual. European companies or companies with a European base that are looking to send their goods to the US can forward their cargo to the UK and we will seamlessly send the consignment onto the US. Similarly, if cargo is scheduled to return from the US back into Europe, we can receive the goods into the UK, undertake all the necessary customs clearance checks and deliver to the desired European destination. The restriction applies to people, not goods and with our established expertise in transferring cargo, we have the capacity to enable the continued transportation of goods to and from the US.”

To talk to the PML team about your needs please call +44 (0)20 8893 2666 or email sales@perishablemovements.com