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Post-Brexit port delays boost demand for UK-made forklift parts

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John Maguire, managing director of Narrow Aisle Ltd, shares his thoughts.

John Maguire.jpgSince new rules on exports, imports and tariffs were implemented at the start of this year, the UK’s forklift industry has looked to buy locally in Britain when it comes to acquiring the components and parts that they need to service and maintain the lift truck fleets that are in operation at the nation’s vital warehouses and distribution centres.

Narrow Aisle has been supplying space saving Flexi lift trucks built at its Black Country factory to a broad range of end-users for almost four decades and since Brexit the company estimates that enquiries for its range of British-made trucks, parts and other accessories have grown by over a third.

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He comments: “There is no doubt that the well-publicised customs delays at ports are resulting in longer delivery times for many vital forklifts and spare parts that are imported from the EU to the UK.

“The fact that forklift dealers may now have to contend with additional documentation, import duties and VAT at the point of entry on all incoming goods manufactured in the EU is also making UK-made parts increasingly attractive.”

And, according to Maguire, it isn’t just UK-built lift truck part sales that are benefiting from the supply chain delays and costs associated with importing from the EU: demand for Narrow Aisle’s Flexi trucks is growing too with sales enquiries for both new and short-term rental trucks more than 30 percent up in the first two months of 2021 when compared to the same period a year earlier.

“Like spare parts, trucks imported from the EU – even machines destined for rental fleets – are facing delays and can be subject to tariffs or tax, which a lot of truck dealers are unprepared for,” he says.

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Maguire concludes: “No doubt, as time passes, the current problems around the importation of trucks and truck parts from the EU will ease, but in the short term at least, Britain’s lift truck dealers who need cost-efficient spare parts in a hurry are turning to UK suppliers.”

All the original parts and accessories needed to ensure that Flexi lift trucks operate at optimum efficiency can be acquired by accessing Narrow Aisle’s dedicated online spare parts store - www.flexitruckparts.com.

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