A farmer in front of his herd of cows

Disruptions to your supply chain

What you can do if the UK leaving the EU has changed your supply chain

You might find that your business supply chains and logistics have altered as a result of the UK leaving the EU. Discover what you can do  to help protect your business, strengthen your supply chains and reduce the impact of any changes.



Icon expand 1. Map out your supply chain

  • Look at your business and all of your suppliers to understand where you have any critical dependencies.
  • Map your supply chain to see where there could be an impact on your business if there was a hold up.
  • Think about your 'supplier concentration'. This refers to how dependent you are on a small number of suppliers who may provide most of your materials. What would happen if they couldn't provide their normal level of supply?

Icon expand 2. Keep the lines of communication open

  • Speak to suppliers to understand their challenges and work together to develop solutions.
  • Understand who supplies your suppliers so you can anticipate any future shocks. It may be difficult for you to see your full end-to-end supply chain, but making enquiries with your direct suppliers and their buyers can provide useful information. That way, you’re even more prepared for any potential disruption.

Icon expand 3. Shore up stock reserves

  • To prepare for potential increases in costs and delivery times, consider building up inventory now, if you have the financial capability and the opportunity to do so.
  • Be careful to balance between adding a buffer of extra stock versus ‘overstocking’. Carrying too much stock could result in future cashflow problems if the market changes and there's a drop in demand for your product.

Icon expand 4. Diversify your sourcing

  • If you use bespoke raw materials, sourcing other suppliers could be difficult, but in many cases the market will offer alternatives.
  • Consider trade associations, trade fairs and chambers of commerce for locating possible partners, along with online research.
  • Don't discount supply from other countries too - even after adding the costs of transport, they could be a cheaper or better quality option.

Icon expand 5. Prioritise which products you'll produce

  • Think about prioritising your products that provide the most revenue, rather than a full range.
  • Prioritise what products to produce in the event of raw and direct material shortages.
  • Consider how your raw materials are used and if one material is used in several finished goods.

Icon expand 6. Evaluate alternative logistic options

  • Anticipate logistics delays due to congestion, reduced air freight capacity and driver shortages.
  • If your sector has a trade association, contact them to find out about the latest sector-based challenges around logistics and potential solutions.
  • There are many specialist freight forwarders and logistics companies who are experts in this field - you may wish to consider their services.

We're here to support you

We offer a range of products to help businesses trade with confidence. These could help minimise risks (such as not being paid by a buyer, or supply chain breakdowns) or provide more efficient financing than using your overdraft.

Our trade finance page has more information on the products that we offer to support you and your business.

Sector specific help

A range of courses and schemes to upskill your staff have been developed across key areas to address the challenges of Brexit. You can find help on areas including customs clearance, supply chain management and marketing. 


Haulage trucks on the road

Ready for Customs scheme

As part of the July Jobs stimulus package, the government approved an additional €150m funding, including €20m for Brexit customs measures. 

The scheme supports SMEs involved in exporting and importing to put in place the staff and IT they need to be ready for new customs arrangements.

More about Ready for Customs

Clear Customs Online 2020

Skillnet Ireland’s free customs training, 'Clear Customs Online 2020',  supports the customs businesses that trade frequently with, or through the UK.

The course covers a range of customs requirements, and is delivered mainly online.

Clear Customs Online 2020

Prepare for Customs workshops

The Local Enterprise Offices run one-day 'Prepare for Customs' workshops throughout the country. 

They provide businesses with a better understanding of the potential impacts, formalities and procedures when trading with the UK from 1 January 2021. 

Register for workshops

Customs Insights

Customs Insights is a 45-minute online course available to all businesses. It aims to give companies a good understanding of the key customs concepts, documentation and processes required to succeed after Brexit.

Customs Insights

Act On Initiative

The Act On Initiative is a customised programme to help eligible companies develop an action plan for Brexit. It focuses on financial and currency management, strategic sourcing, and customs and logistics.

Act on Initiative


InterTradeIreland's free bitesize supply chain support helps businesses identify key opportunities, risks, and actions you could take to protect your supply chain.


Government support

Visit the Irish Government website for the most up to date information about the support available for businesses navigating the post-Brexit world.


Bord Bia training and guides

Man and woman in food production factory

Get in touch

If you need to talk to us, please get in touch.

Contact us
Set Tab for lightbox