UK forwarders may lose out if no AEO

Forwarders in the UK are in danger of losing out if they ignore the realities of freight forwarding in the increasingly regulated air cargo environment and fail to gain Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status, says Davies Turner.


AEO


Forwarders in the UK are in danger of losing out if they ignore the realities of freight forwarding in the increasingly regulated air cargo environment and fail to gain Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status, says Davies Turner. Pointing to the fact Germany has upwards of 2,500 AEO accredited export/import companies the UK-based multimodal forwarder says around just 250 British operators and traders have AEO status. This meagre figure is even surpassed by numbers in Poland and Italy and equals Sweden’s total which has a fraction of the UK’s population, Davies Turner notes.

Philip Stephenson, Davies Turner chairman, said other British operators could profitably follow his company’s example of becoming the AEOaccredited, or risk falling behind the greater AEO commitment in the rest of Europe.

“What is now disquieting is how so few other UK companies have taken up this challenge in the years since, said Stephenson. They are missing a trick when it comes to the new realities of freight forwarding in the highly regulated 21st century.” Stephenson goes on to note that the AEO accreditation is still the WCO’s gold standard for security and simplified Customs procedures.

Stephenson adds: “I think in the UK there is a concern that the application, compliance and accreditation process is hard, time-consuming and costly, all of which works as a disincentive to apply. I would suggest that managers deciding on whether to put their companies forward look at the AEO process from a different perspective. In the course of winning accreditation, there is a great opportunity to examine how you work, revitalise your internal systems and use the occasion to redefine your business practices.”