Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Brexit Concerns Lead UK Exporters and Importers to Consider Markets Further Afield

The Air of Uncertainty Around Trade with Russia and the CIS Begins to Evaporate
Shipping News Feature

UK – RUSSIA – CIS – Brexit has changed much for British importers and exporters but one positive effect is that it has stimulated more interest in trading with nations that may have previously been considered a 'little tricky' to deal with .

Given the complexities of language, not to say the Cyrillic alphabet, Russia and the CIS countries are a prime example of areas where trade is possible but often thought of as too difficult for anyone wishing to venture into the market.

To counter this a new trade and logistics consultancy service has been introduced by an Anglo-Russian freight business that has had specialist expertise in these markets for many years. Whilst UK-based FSM Logistics Ltd offers a portfolio of freight forwarding and logistics services globally, it has a deep understanding of the markets of the former Soviet Union (FSU) as a result of being one of the first international logistics providers to establish itself in the Russian market following the unravelling of the USSR in the 1990s.

Alfred Stienen, director of FSM Logistics recognises that for some businesses, Brexit has made shipping to and from the traditional markets in the EU much more complex, making seeking the possibilities of market opportunities further afield a little less daunting. Stienen accepts that whilst trading with Russia and countries of the CIS can look complicated for the outsider, the fact that the former is the UK's 21st largest trading partner, with total trade in goods and services between the UK and Russia having a current value of over £150 billion per annum, speaks volumes. He comments:

“Russia and the CIS countries have a large middle class and GDP across the region has been rising for many years, increasing the spending power of the nations’ populations, for the potential benefit of UK traders.

“But, many businesses are dissuaded from considering trade with these markets as they are portrayed as impenetrable, ‘a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma’, according to Winston Churchill, which is an impression that we want to correct, and encourage UK traders to think again.

“FSM Logistics has had a successful trading relationship with Russia and the CIS markets for over 30 years and has a well-established network of our own logistics centres in seven locations across Russia, as well as additional freight hubs in Georgia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. In the early 1990s, I was involved in setting up offices in Moscow as one of the first UK forwarding companies to explore this market.

“Our new trade and logistics consultancy service for Anglo-Russian freight is a full value-added support operation, including advice on fiscal, tax, insurance, credit and Customs; multilingual staff in all offices; documentation, such as letters of credit, and Certificates of Origin, and even armed-escorts for highly valuable cargoes. It complements our full range of overland trailer, ocean freight and airfreight services between the UK and continental Europe with Russia and the FSU countries.

“To fellow freight forwarders and logistics companies, we say that if you are getting shipping enquiries for these markets from existing customers, but turning them down due to lack of knowledge, experience or confidence to handle the business, we will guarantee that we can help you with a service partnership that is truly neutral. To importers and exporters that are concerned about the potential complexities of trading with these markets, we urge you to get in touch to discuss the support that we can offer.

“Whilst regulations, administrative procedures and requirements in this region are very different from those in Europe, through our local experts we have the right knowledge, network of contacts and know-how to meet all the local requirements.”

Photo: OK, so shipping in the region can have hazards other than documentary.

FSM Logistics is the trading name of the FS Mackenzie International Group, a privately owned logistics company with its HQ in Basildon, near London, and roots that go back to the 1950s. It is not connected in any way with FS Mackenzie Ltd, a member of the Singapore Post Group of companies.