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A quarter of UK courier businesses don’t understand new licensing rules

A quarter (24%) of UK courier businesses don’t understand new licensing rules that came into force on May 21st 2022, according to a new survey.

The changes mean that even courier drivers in vans of smaller sizes (as opposed to just large haulage vehicles) taking goods to the EU must have an operator licence and fulfil various administrative requirements.

Nearly one in three courier companies have focused their efforts on expanding operations in the UK this year, compared with just one in 20 looking to expand operations in the EU, according to the survey by return loads platform Courier Exchange.  Demand in the UK has surged however, with just under half of courier companies delivering up to 50% more parcels than they did pre-Covid.

Of the businesses that do understand the rule change, one in seven believe it will have a negative impact on their business. 1 in 12 companies who understood the licensing rule changes failed to put any preparations in place prior to the changes being implemented in May (such as training or paperwork). Overall, 63% of couriers believe they will be impacted.

Courier companies are continuing to be hard hit by costs, however. 90% of courier companies flagged rising fuel prices, and 72% spiralling operating costs, as being a major challenge in the coming year.

Almaz Cleary, sales manager at Courier Exchange, said: “The incoming cabotage rule changes are just one of the current challenges for the courier industry. Companies not fully understanding the changes will create both uncertainty and more bureaucracy.”

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