Published On: 12/01/20232.6 min read

For several years now, the pressure on international goods movements has been extraordinary.

Often, the disruption of import and export can go unnoticed by the general public, but when it comes to moving food and drink, shortages on the shelf and price increases at the till become front page news.

Heading into 2023, there are a number of on-going issues that could trickle over into the new year. For instance, Covid-19 had seemed a problem that was starting to seem behind us, but the reopening of China and the seemingly rampant spread of Covid-19 brings the possibility of future disruption in major seaports. More topically, industrial action in ports in the UK and abroad are adding to delays, whilst shortage of labour, rising energy prices, and the cost of food are all having an impact on businesses.

In terms of what to expect in 2023, we will undoubtedly see a continuation of increased costs. As we’ve already seen in recent reports, inflation rates show no signs of abating, and the war in Europe can hold a degree of responsibility for this. The conflict had led to disruption to the supply of grain and increased costs for fuel and utilities, all of which impact manufacturers, those moving goods and the consumer.

To combat this, being aware of emerging consumer trends is key, particularly for us in food and drink. The ability to see how signals from certain markets will have an impact in others as buying behaviour changes, being adaptable enough to compete in this changing landscape and being able to pass this information to partner is, and through the coming recession will remain, key.

We can also expect to see continued difficulties in the transport industry. Issues with recruitment, unavailability of vehicles, and increases in fuel costs result in incredible uncertainty in the goods movement industry. With transport costs becoming an even larger percentage of the cost of goods, it is now even more important than ever to look for value in partnerships and relationship.

Most obviously, the Brexit hangover will remain. We see this most in the tough customs regime making it difficult to transport goods into EU. This is hitting British firms hard especially as it is actually easier getting goods into the UK though than it is to export them from UK to EU. To add to this, EU’s deal with Australia casts doubt on the ability of UK to strike deals which will see us remain internationally competitive.

It’s not all doom and gloom heading into the new year. Innovations in our industry, such as the digitalisation of supply chains, and signs of freight rates normalising, gives a glimmer of hope for the future. It’s also important to note that the sustainability agenda is on the up and businesses like ours, who have invested heavily in sustainability are reaping the rewards; in new working efficiency, in greater appeal to partners and clients and in the benefit we create for our people and place.

For more information on how we can help you get ahead of the curve this year, get in touch with the team at