Transport communications

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GEODIS and Arkema test the future border system intended for Brexit

GEODIS, a global expert in transport and logistics, partnered Arkema, the French leader in chemicals, to take part in the dry runs organized by French Customs to test the future customs arrangements that will be implemented in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit. GEODIS is now ready to support its customers for customs and transport operations involving the United Kingdom, whatever the Brexit scenario.

In the context of the restoration of a border between the United Kingdom and the European Union, the French customs authorities have developed a computerized system known as the “smart border” which automates the border crossing for freight vehicles. Since September, French Customs have been organizing a series of full-scale simulations with all the players concerned – including transporters, loaders, customs representatives and customs clearance software providers – to test the new system under the most realistic conditions possible.

GEODIS and Arkema jointly participated in operational trials of the “smart border” on 24 September. The two companies coordinated to organize a shipment of goods from the Arkema plant in La Chambre, south eastern France, to the United Kingdom under the conditions of a post-Brexit export operation. GEODIS and Arkema had to evaluate the advance transmission of customs documents, the coordination of logistics, the matching of customs data with that of the vehicle, and the actual crossing of the border. All of these tests were successfully achieved, enabling the shipment to cross the border safely and smoothly.

Rémi Poteau, Key Account Manager at GEODIS, said: “This full-scale dry run was key to guaranteeing the free flow of trade. This experience allowed GEODIS to prove that it is now ready to provide safe and reliable logistics services between France and the United Kingdom for its customers in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. It also demonstrated that the Group is capable of handling all customs requirements through a range of high quality customs solutions in compliance with regulations.”


GEODIS is a top-rated, global supply chain operator recognized for its passion and commitment to helping clients overcome their logistical constraints. GEODIS’ growth-focused offerings (Supply Chain Optimization, Freight Forwarding, Contract Logistics, Distribution & Express, and Road Transport) coupled with the company’s truly global reach thanks to a direct presence in 67 countries, and a global network spanning 120 countries, translates in top business rankings, #1 in France, #4 in Europe and #7 worldwide. In 2018, GEODIS accounted for over 41,000 employees globally and generated €8.2 billion in sales.