Two New Freeports in Wales

Good news for Welsh traders

Two new freeports in Wales! Taking the UK planned total up to 12.

Today two new freeports have been announced in Wales. Anglesey Freeport and the ‘Celtic Freeport’ including Port Talbot and Milford Haven the Institute of Export & International Trade reports.

This is on top of the 10 freeports already announced.

UK freeport map

At time of writing, only 6 of these freeports are open and operating, being Felixstowe, Liverpool, Plymouth, Teesside, Thames and Solent. East Midlands Airport and Humber freeports are still in development.

How do freeports help UK traders?

For UK traders, there are several advantages to operating within a freeport. One of the most significant benefits is the reduction or elimination of customs duties and taxes on goods that are imported into the zone. This can make importing goods cheaper and more attractive, which in turn can boost your business.

Additionally, freeports often have simplified customs procedures and streamlined regulations, making it easier and quicker for businesses to move goods in and out of the zone. Making life much easier for traders.

All going to plan, this is good news for these communities in Wales. Inevitably, they will bring a boost to these areas as well as opening up new trade options for Welsh businesses.

It may be several years yet till these freeports are up and running effectively. That said, Espace wholeheartedly support investment in these areas, knowing that they will effectively reduce barriers to trade for more UK businesses. 

Take a look at Espace EUroad for exporting into Europe



Five helpful ways to boost your export trade

Looking to export more in 2023? Unsure what to do? The UK economy is increasing it’s focus on exporting goods with lots of business to be won, here are some helpful ways to boost your export trade.

1. Make exporting key to your business strategy

If you commit to something it tends to happen, right? By focusing on growing or developing exports as a key element to your overall business strategy, you’re likely to form a strategic team and deliver it. This isn’t a short term fix though, plan for the long game and do your research. Where are your target markets or your target customers? How will you finance your exports? There’s a lot of avenues to consider.

2. Keep it SMART

“I want to increase export sales” is a very broad statement. “I want to increase export sales to Germany by 25% this year” is specific and therefore achievable. It’s important to know your target markets and the needs of would-be clients specifically within those markets. There are numerous elements you’ll want to consider such as forecasted demand, local or international competitors and any potential barriers you’ll have in accessing the market.

Benefits of EasyEU

3. Keep it local

If you’re dipping your toe into the water of international trade, start by looking into Europe. Most European countries share similar cultures to ours, most use the Euro as a common currency and most have similar working hours. Once you’ve become confident in exporting, you’ll be able to leverage a lot of the relationships you’ll develop in the European market to look further afield to fast growing opportunities in South America, north Africa or Asia. One of the benefits to come from Brexit is that you now need to “export” to Europe. That export process by and large looks the same throughout the world.

4. Research, research, research

And research some more. This will take time but it’s time well spent and be thorough. Find out who the local trade associations are and subscribe to their publications. Are there any recurring issues or trends you pick up on? Knowing who your competitors to that market are and their prices, if possible, will be key to knowing if you want to pursue sales there or not. If after the research phase you decide there’s not enough in it for you, don’t be frightened to pull the plug.

5. Make it personal

Thanks in large to the Covid-19 pandemic, we’re all now well used to meeting with partners and colleagues from across the world on Teams or Zoom. These calls are great but there’s nothing like a physical visit to nurture long lasting business relationships. Be prepared to travel! Plan a few days or a week with specific meetings with trade partners, affiliations or with potential clients or perhaps to visit a local trade fair.

Take advantage of cheap flights to close big sales in person. Knowing your new partner cares to that extent will go a long way in developing future repeat orders.

Bonus tip

Your freight forwarder can be your best friend! A well-established company which exports may have 10 trade lanes around the world. A freight forwarder will see hundreds of times that each week and all companies will have slightly different export processes. A good forwarder will have a worldwide partner network and will be happy to discuss new trade lanes and offer hints and tips of how best to move your goods in and out of your target country as efficiently as possible.


How has a senior British F1 team dealt with moving automotive goods since Brexit?

How has a senior British F1 team dealt with moving time critical automotive goods in the past few years since Brexit?

Brexit brought major problems for a senior British F1 team. Well used to global shipping and using ATA Carnet to move equipment around the world, adapting to new European regulations wasn’t difficult.However, when it came to moving consumables, parts which may be used or not, their headaches began.

To prepare for the testing and racing season post Brexit, they set up a store in central Europe to call off consumables as and when needed. It worked well but staffing and holding stock was expensive and with stringent budget caps to adhere to, year two brought them to Espace looking for new ideas.

There were several complexities, the consumables needed to go out to support an event, may be used, may not be used. They may need to go to the next European event, on again, or they may need to be returned to the UK based factory. Due to their varied nature, a consignment may contain hundreds of unique HS codes making handling of data quickly and accurately, complex and hugely important.

Having established that the team have the required country specific European VAT number and plotting the European race and major testing locations, Espace suggested moving the goods under the DDP inco term and using the three major northern French ports of Calais, Dunkirk and Le Havre as a gateway to Europe where we have agency representation and can present personnel quickly should any issues arise.

Large quantities of data are handled via our unique XML upload template.

Utilising our French customs clearance agent, goods moved through any of these ports can be delivered directly to any location without the need for further customs intervention, something which is often a problem for clients moving goods to events and exhibitions, and not unique to motorsport. Import VAT is postponed against the relevant EU VAT number (French where clearing through French ports) and any duty owed is paid quickly by Espace thanks to a duty cash deposit.

Once the goods have been cleared into Europe, they are free to roam and to be used at other events in any European country as many times as needed.

When items are required to be returned to the UK, irrespective of when they were exported and to where, using the teams European partner to act as exporter of record, goods exit the EU via France and reimported into the UK. Any duty (when Returned Goods Relief cannot be used) is paid against the teams Duty Deferment Account and VAT postponed against their VAT number making Espace’s EasyEU solution the quickest and most cost effective available.

What Next?

Read about our innovative DDP Incoterm solution to deliver goods into the EU – EasyEU or speak to one of our team on 01543 418700

The importance of re-opening the European market

The importance of re-opening the European market

Winter is upon us, both in a physical and financial sense. With frost laying heavy on the grass in the mornings, car windows to scrape before the commute to work or school run, this can be a very difficult time of year.

We are in the depths of winter in a financial sense too. An economy in recession, interest and inflation at their highest for decades, a war in Europe playing havoc with commodities and a squeeze on real-term incomes. Not to mention the economic effects of BREXIT. If you allow it, this unprecedented combination could overwhelm you.

But businesspeople are a resilient breed. Just like in a meteorological winter, where we don extra layers, warmer boots, gloves and hats to protect ourselves against the cold, we can do the same for our businesses. Doing things the same will only result in the same or lesser results (or freezing appendages!).

Support for your Export

January is an important time to start planning for the new financial year too. We’re often asked by clients for support to help grow export lanes and more recently for advice on winning back European business which was lost because of BREXIT.

Reasons to be Optimistic

As our closest neighbour and biggest trading partner, Europe is the logical first step for a company to explore export trade into. British goods are well respected for their quality within Europe and the devaluation in Sterling has made them very attractive financially.

Brexit = Customer Inconvenience

BREXIT not only brought about issues for British companies but for their European customers too. Goods which are exported by default, need to be imported – adding additional layers of complexity which often results in frustration, delays and as we’ve seen over the last two years, loss of trade.

Complexity such as

  • Finding a customs agent
  • Paying or accounting for import VAT
  • Understanding and paying duties
  • Unforeseen delays in transport and associated downtime

Make your Exports Attractive Again

There are ways however, of making all these problems for European importers disappear which in turn allows UK exporters to compete on a level playing field with their European competition. Using innovative cross-border solutions could allow UK exporters to re-win the business they lost after BREXIT and use the same tactics to grow new export lanes too.

As sure as springtime will replace winter, Britain will climb out of recession. Re-opening the European market will allow UK exporters to retain and grow the business they had before Brexit.

If we don’t the UK risks losing out to less inconvenient European or Worldwide sources and the overall quality of the products on the market are reduced as a result.

What Next?

Read about our innovative DDP Incoterm solution to deliver goods into the EU – EasyEU or speak to one of our team on 01543 418700


Potential Disruption at French Ports

We have experienced many disruptions by French fisherman at French ports over the years causing havoc to the European road freight industry.

Over the last few days, the news headlines have been focusing on the UK / French political relationship and the threat of possible disruption this may cause.

If we cannot agree fishing rights for French fisherman in our waters, the threat of an instant blockade of some vital French ports is very real. This will have a detrimental effect on transit times for all French shipments and any shipments that need to cross French territory. If things get nasty, a slow down by French customs officials on UK exports and imports has been rumoured also.

It might be a good idea, if you can, to stockpile some shipments in the UK and EU if these blockades happen over the next few months.

It is possible that your shipments to or from France may be affected by French action at short notice. Any action would also have an affect on goods transiting France to or from Europe.

We are monitoring the situation closely and will issue updates as and when we have positive information of any action being taken. We do ask however, that you bear in mind the possible French action locking ports to UK ships, possible disruption via the channel tunnel and increasing checks by French Customs on shipments travelling in-between the UK and France for exports and imports.

Construction Logistics – 3000 tonnes to Germany

Construction Logistics – 3000 tonnes to Germany

A UK based mezzanine flooring company appointed Espace as their preferred construction logistics provider in January 2019 and we’re proud to have developed a strong partnership providing high levels of service. This project for a major e-commerce player was very important to them and required careful co-ordination.

Sector Construction  Value £5.6M  Timescale 12 weeks

Over 3000 tonnes of product needed to be delivered to a new warehouse construction site in Germany in line with their customers build schedule. For large projects, build schedules are pretty much set in stone so hitting the delivery deadlines was vital. Espace was entrusted with getting every delivery to its destination on time.


  • 150 full load trailers of mezzanine flooring systems to be delivered from the UK to a huge e-commerce site for a major brand near Magdeburg, Germany
  • 24/7 liaison with lead mezzanine installer on site
  • AM collections from 9 different UK sites
  • AM deliveries to the German construction site
  • Driver-accompanied trailers via Dover to achieve required transit times
  • Contingency plans in place in the event of a No Deal Brexit in January 2020


European construction site deliveries can pose issues as far as delivery slots and congestion are concerned. Combining this with the size of the delivery as well as the multiple origin points made this a complex job


Over the course of a few meetings, we discussed the various transport options available for a project of this size. We agreed a preferred option and placed 20 trailers in the first two weeks to complete stage one of the project.

In the end all deliveries were collected and delivered on time, in full and with no damage.

We would be happy to discuss logistics requirements for any small or large construction projects that you may have. Please do not hesitate to contact us. Email or call us on 01543 412348