A new direct shipping route between the UK and Morocco has been devised as a means of overcoming the obstacles to the transport of goods to and from Britain following Brexit.
Along with the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit has provided a major disruption to freight services involving the UK, leading to many firms seeking new arrangements.
Rather than goods having to undergo lengthy checks and firms having to deal with large amounts of paperwork for an overland journey via Spain and France, the new route run by United Seaways will sail directly between Tangiers and Poole.
As well as cutting the journey time from around six days to three, the firm said it hoped the move would encourage British firms to source more products from north Africa.
Managing director of United Seaways Zeyd Fassi Fehri called the move a “sustainable and environmental alternative”, adding that the “reduction of road congestion, tolls and additional import procedures that have arisen since Brexit brings wonderful added value.”
While most of the goods imported to the UK from Morocco at present are fresh produce, making the need for faster transit greater, there will still be many benefits for firms around the world in finding ways to move all kinds of goods to and from the UK with less bureaucracy and more speed.
The development may also reflect an inevitable shift in the balance of the UK’s international trade away from the EU after Brexit.
According to Reuters, January saw a 30 per cent decline in exports from Germany to the UK, compared with the same year in 2020.
The report noted that this was not a sudden development, as many German firms had already started reducing their dealings with the UK in anticipation of Britain leaving the single market.