Brexit Package Delays Report + Infographic

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With the UK leaving the European Union, there have been well-publicised delays in shipping times between the UK and countries within the EU. As package forwarding experts we take these delays seriously and we’ve taken a long hard look at the data available to help give you the whole picture on shipping times post-Brexit.

Looking at shipping times in January, and now February, of 2021 compared to December 2020 and the preceding months shows a number of interesting trends. What you may find surprising is that it’s not all bad news. Yup, some countries outside the EU have actually seen an improvement in shipping times.

Non-EU Shipments were 16% faster in January than in December

Sure, a lot of the problems post-Brexit have been around shipping from the UK to the EU and vice versa. Items have been delayed or incurred charges people didn’t previously expect, but the picture outside of the EU has generally been positive.

 

Country

Avg shipping time (days) per country

% difference

December 2020

January 2021

Greenland

3.00

1.00

-66.67%

Luxembourg

3.00

1.00

-66.67%

Kenya

12.75

5.00

-60.78%

Puerto Rico

7.00

3.00

-57.14%

Uganda

29.00

13.00

-55.17%

Algeria

8.83

4.40

-50.17%

Mauritius

8.83

4.40

-50.17%

Ukraine

3.93

2.00

-49.11%

Iraq

23.33

12.50

-46.42%

Bahrain

4.77

2.64

-44.65%

 

Shipments to countries outside the EU have actually been quicker overall. This includes shipments to countries like Norway and Switzerland, both of which are in Europe but, like the UK, aren’t members of the EU. This is good news and will hopefully set a precedent for UK parcel forwarding to Europe and other non-EU countries around the world.

Month

Avg shipping time (days) for all non EU countries

December 2020

5.01

January 2021

4.18

% Difference

-16.57%

Shipments to every single EU country now take 112% longer in January 2021, on average

While shipments to non-EU members give us some room for hope, the shipping times to EU countries are a little more concerning. On average shipments from the UK to the EU were taking 4 days in December, but from January that’s risen to a full 10 days. This sees a 150% increase in door-to-door shipping time. There are a number of factors that are at play here, from DPD stopping their UK to EU courier service, increased customs checks and more, but it’s not a good start to post-Brexit relations.

Country

Avg shipping time (days) per country

% difference

December 2020

January 2021

Serbia

2.00

21.00

+950.00%

Bulgaria

3.82

19.00

+397.38%

Slovakia

4.64

18.25

+293.32%

Latvia

3.31

11.25

+239.88%

Estonia

4.42

15.00

+239.37%

Greece

5.66

17.34

+206.36%

Germany

3.66

10.46

+185.79%

Poland

4.55

12.68

+178.68%

France

2.78

7.56

+171.94%

Romania

4.02

10.62

+164.18%

 

Germany is a prime example of this. One of our most popular shipping destinations from the UK has seen door-to-door transit times as low as 2.86 days as recently as November but this rose to 10.46 days in January, a staggering 186% increase in shipping times.

Other countries have been hit even harder, with Bulgaria and Serbia seeing huge increases in shipping times. Bulgaria has grown from an average of 4 days to 19 days in January and Serbia from 2 days to 21 days. Hopefully, this is just a blip while teething issues are worked out across the EU and we’ll be keeping an eye on the situation.

Month

Avg shipping time (days) for all EU countries

December 2020

4.03

January 2021

8.55

% difference

+112.16%

Shipping times to the EU continue to rise, with Germany now taking 265% longer, on average

While we’d hoped to bring you good news with shipping times in February, the figures aren’t looking particularly positive. Unfortunately, much of the EU is still seeing increases in shipping time, rather than improvements. Germany is one of the worst-hit, with another increase from 10.46 days in January, which was already well up from 3.66 in December, to 13.36 in February. Croatia has seen very similar increases, along with Slovenia. Lithuania actually saw an even sharper increase, with deliveries taking an average of 16 days in February, compared to 8.67 in January and 4.56 in December.

Country

December 2020

January 2021

% difference (Dec-Jan)

February 2021

% difference (Jan-Feb)

Avg shipping time (days) per country

Avg Shipping time (days) per country

Serbia

2.00

21.00

950.00%

3.8

90.00%

Bulgaria

3.82

19.00

397.38%

17.00

345.24%

Slovakia

4.64

18.25

293.32%

17.00

266.15%

Latvia

3.31

11.25

239.88%

12.20

268.84%

Estonia

4.42

15.00

239.37%

8.00

81.13%

Greece

5.66

17.34

206.36%

16.37

189.24%

Germany

3.66

10.46

185.79%

13.36

265.37%

Poland

4.55

12.68

178.68%

11.83

160.33%

France

2.78

7.56

171.94%

5.39

94.07%

Romania

4.02

10.62

164.18%

10.87

170.32%

Some of these delays are simply down to the backlog from January, and many may continue to rise while improvements are made to processes and logistics.

Some routes have seen vast improvements in February, with Serbia offering a ray of light

Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom. Some routes have started to improve with Serbia, in particular, offering a ray of light. In January multiple shipments took 30 days to reach their destination and absolutely no shipments managed one business day. In February, all Serbian shipments were under 30 days and many shipments had it door-to-door within one business day.

A number of countries, like the Netherlands, Cyprus, Sweden and Poland, among others, saw marginal improvements, with the odd day or so shaved off the poorer times from January.

UK to non-EU countries in Europe shipping times remain quick through February

For those looking to ship within Europe to countries like Switzerland or Norway, it’s a completely different story. The European countries that aren’t in the EU are currently seeing door-to-door shipping times around half that of their EU brothers and sisters. These countries have seen almost no change from Brexit and shipping has had very little, or no, disruption.

What’s being done - new warehouses in Germany and Poland

Countries, businesses, couriers and individuals are all working together to make these delays shorten. In some instances, delays are simply down to teething issues, while people get used to filling in paperwork they previously didn’t have to, and that should hopefully be something that irons itself out.

At forward2me we’re looking at the longer-term though. We know that for many, forwarding packages around the EU and further afield is important so we’re opening new facilities in both Germany and Poland to speed up our European parcel forwarding service. This will allow people to forward packages within the EU or externally with relative ease.

The irony right now is that the only thing stopping our Polish warehouse from officially launching is that a number of key pallets of IT equipment are currently stuck with Polish customs. You can only laugh, but we’ll be ready to help people with their needs as soon as they’ve cleared. We’re here to help you understand every way Brexit could affect shipping in the meantime.

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