Prior to Christmas 2020, we witnessed stockpiling on a huge scale due to the Christmas season and the COVID-19 pandemic but, perhaps even more so, because the Brexit deadline loomed large. We were seeing huge delays and long tailbacks of trucks as ports were dealing with unprecedented volumes of freight every day. But surely once the holiday season had passed this would level out? Unfortunately, no, and it looks like things are set to get worse.


On December 31st at 11pm, the Brexit transition period officially ended and the UK left the EU single market. The threat of new customs and border controls saw many businesses increasing stock quantities and needing extra storage space.

With more stock being brought in before the December deadline, warehouses began filling up fast to a point where businesses were struggling to find any space at all. Sources from within the industry claiming that commercial warehousing was simply maxed out.

Chilled Space

One of the hardest hit has been those in the food industry seeking chilled storage space. With animal based products, in particular, about to become subject to more health checks, businesses were crying out for more chilled units to be made available.

Since the start of January, the post Brexit experience has not gotten any easier with many not being able to get their goods out of the country and so the risk of losing massive stockpiles of goods that will simply ‘go-off’ is huge if they cannot acquire adequate storage space.

While we all know that demand equals supply, if the supply of warehousing is not there, or can’t match demand quickly enough, many businesses relying on outside warehousing will be hit in a very bad way.

Changes In The Supply Chain

Pre-Brexit we were witnessing huge quantities being transported, more trucks on the road and bottlenecks forming causing long delays. Freight volumes increased to over 25% Again, post Brexit, this has not improved much.

With the new customs controls and requirements and the fact that many businesses are simply not as prepared as they thought, we are seeing delays creeping back up. Goods are being stopped, rejected or held for longer periods due to these new procedures and it is only a matter of time before the stockpiling begins again in earnest with businesses choosing to import or export in larger quantities to curb the knock on effect of delays.

Warehouse Shortages Due To Brexit Stockpiling Worsen in 2021 - ParcelPlanet 2

The Outlook

For years Brexit has been stirring the pot of uncertainty and now that we are in a post Brexit world, things are not looking any clearer. The one thing that looks to be true, however, is that the best option for businesses is to get ready. We don’t know how long it will be before this will all even out so in the meantime, businesses need to prepare and plan accordingly.

If you need more warehouse space to keep up with your plans to growth, speak to one of our team today about our outsourced warehousing and order fulfilment services. Call us on +353 1 902 9510 or email us at We’re standing by to help.