Cepac reports readiness for Brexit

The UK’s leading independent corrugated packaging producer Cepac has just published its latest Brexit Briefing Update for its customer and supplier partners.

The company has been preparing for the Brexit process since the vote to leave the EU in 2016 and is now again at a heightened state of readiness as the transition period draws to a close and the prospect of a ‘no deal’ Brexit remains a potential outcome.

Preparations are well underway with the company completing a series of workshops with various suppliers across all categories to ensure the appropriate paperwork and systems are in place prior to December 31.

As an independent producer Cepac is not affiliated to any individual paper mill or paper group for its raw material supply. As such Cepac relies upon long-term partnership arrangements with chosen suppliers to ensure continuity of supply. 

Supply Chain Director Steve Hollingsworth commented: “All of our suppliers, be they based on the Continent or here in the UK, have offered unqualified support to Cepac over the Brexit period.”

It is the company’s intention to enter the New Year carrying between 6-10 weeks’ stock dependent upon grade, type and forecast usage. This stock will be held at UK warehouses including various port facilities. Detailed planning has also led to some changes at UK ports and the routes used for the importation of raw materials.

Cepac utilises carefully chosen ports and routes, built up over many years, for its supply and will focus much of its ongoing supply through these facilities during 2021.

Steve Hollingsworth added: “We are predicting that heavily subscribed ports, such as Dover and some of the larger east coast facilities will experience bottlenecking. By focusing upon smaller facilities, we are confident supply can be continued without interruption throughout 2021 and beyond.”

Cepac believes that changes to cabotage rules i.e. the use of EU vehicles to transport goods within the UK, is likely to create a shortage of road transport vehicles. To counter this Cepac intends to use its own vehicle fleet, run through its logistics partner, Woodland Group, to collect raw materials for its various sites where needed.

Steve Hollingsworth confirmed: “Our vehicle fleet is extensive and tends to operate on set delivery patterns to customers. By utilising the fleet, we can collect raw materials from UK ports and warehouses, if required, and ensure our plants remain supplied.”

If the UK is forced to operate under WTO rules a full impact assessment has been undertaken by Cepac. Whilst it is deemed unlikely that paper will attract tariffs it is possible that other purchased goods may be affected. The impact assessment covers these goods and mitigation plans are in place, as required. 

Cepac has worked diligently with its extensive supplier base across all critical sectors over the past two years and plans to continue to do so until the outcome of Brexit is resolved. Continuity of supply to its customers during the Brexit period is of paramount importance.

Steve Hollingsworth concluded: “There is no greater priority for us at this time. We must ensure our customers are free and able to operate normally during the Brexit process and minimise any possible disruptions.”