GUEST BLOG: UK suppliers mitigate ‘Brexit risk’ for manufacturers

UK-based producers of plastic goods would benefit from operating in a more secure and lower-risk raw material supply chain if they switched to locally-based suppliers, thereby lessening the potential of impact of Brexit, claims Keith Freegard, director of Axion Polymers.

Citing economic uncertainty once Britain leaves the EU, Freegard believes manufacturers should share in the return to pride in a ‘Made in GB badge’. They should consider buying from ‘reliable local suppliers operating within the GB economy’ to ensure stability, consistency and long-term confidence in supply.

“Brexit represents a source of risk and a large unknown factor for the next few years,” said Freegard, a Made in Britain member. “Recent significant shifts of up to 15% in exchange rates are making imported raw materials from Europe a lot more expensive.

“Future inward raw materials supply routes from Europe could become more difficult with possible import tariffs and extra customs paperwork. Manufacturers can insulate themselves from those risks if they buy from local UK-based suppliers.”

Through its fully-integrated business model operating at three Manchester sites, Axion Polymers produces Axpoly plastics derived from end-of-life motor vehicles and waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), all sourced within the UK.

“With 32 million motor vehicles on our UK road network, we can see and touch the future ‘urban mine’ of raw materials for the next 15 years and beyond.” continued Freegard. “Through our shareholding from capture of scrap cars right through to recycling, all the waste materials belong to us so we are independent of the competitive procurement process, thereby ensuring security of feedstock.”

Plastic shipped from Manchester’s central transport hub can be delivered anywhere in the UK within 24 hours and avoids delays associated with strikes and weather disruption, which often impact the main freight ports. Axion’s optimal location also allows rapid service response by its technical staff to any requirements for assistance or troubleshooting with its customers.

An additional advantage of using recycled polymers from a UK-sourced closed-loop supply chain is stable and competitive pricing because the input raw material costs are not linked to the volatile oil market or subject to waste-trading supply:demand fluctuations.

Freegard added: “We joined Made in Britain because we share in the values and benefits of that organisation. There is a resurgence of ‘Pride in Britain’ and we are proud to support and be part of it.”

Author
Keith Freegard

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