Andrew Morgan of Global 78 offered a preview of a new investigation into the long-term impact of Brexit on fresh produce supply chains

FL 2024 Andrew Morgan Global 78 Logistics Hub

Andrew Morgan

The post-Brexit environment was the focus of a Logistics Hub session on the opening day of Fruit Logistica in Berlin.

Andrew Morgan, director at logistics consultancy Global 78, gave visitors a sneak preview of a new investigation into the long-term impact of Brexit on fresh produce supply chains.

The research, which is due to be published later in 2024, is set to help strategic decision-makers in all parts of the perishable value chain, as well as financial institutions and policymakers.

“The main aim is to provide good information to help businesses not only plan but also then execute their strategies for logistics resilience,” Morgan explained. “Logistics resilience is a key issue – how we prepare ourselves so we can be resilient in a very difficult world.”

Morgan said that the project will have two tracks, the first of which will look at the logistics networks around the coasts and borders of the UK and Ireland.

This will create a broader picture of the different food categories and the networks they used, he explained, particularly RORO ferry traffic.

Track two will then zoom-in on certain highly perishable fresh produce categories including lettuce, salads, spinach and berries, he confirmed.

“This brings those perishable categories together so we can then see how they operate within the broader context of the actual network that supports them.” 

Morgan said that while the research was in its early stages, and it was important not to be influenced by anything existing prior to or outside of that data, initial information had focused on how well organisations coped with change and uncertainty.

“That’s the thing we are getting feedback on,” he confirmed. ”If only they knew what was going to happen, and when, and how, they’d be a lot better off.”

When asked how much point there was in forward planning for changes and border checks, especially given the number of u-turns the government had made, Morgan agreed that this was a key issue.

”Overall I would say that the current understanding of the authorities is that they are completely underestimating the task,” he warned. “We haven’t done the research yet, but my feeling is that there is a lot of uncertainty and they are probably underestimating what these changes are going to require.”

Click here to watch a full recording of the session at Fruit Logistica in Berlin (registration required)