Improving delivery times

I am delighted so many people have suddenly become interested in the issue of speedy delivery of raw materials, components and finished goods. Some are so interested they think it is the topic which should determine our approach to Brexit.  I want to ask the question what actions could we take to cut down delivery times more if people think this is such an issue.

Lets take a complex supply chain. The company concerned needs imported components from India and from Slovakia to meet an automated manufacturing   system. The typical delivery time from Slovakia by road transport is four days. The typical delivery time by sea transport from Mumbai is 20 days. Immediately when we look at this issue we see that the short time it takes to get through the port of Dover from Slovakia or through the port of Southampton or London Gateway from India  is tiny compared to the lengthy time it takes by sea or road.  The sea journey is probably a bit more predictable than the road journey, as it is less open to congestion and delays. The sea journey does also need two road transport journeys to get to and from the ports involved, whilst the road journey from the continent needs a short sea crossing to tackle the English Channel.

The investment needed to cut journey times and unreliability includes investment in the road networks involved. I do not know all the details of the road congestion from Slovakia on the continent, but can vouch for the delays and unreliability the shortage of capacity from Dover or from Southampton to a factory in say Birmingham can  cause. This would seem to be a more sensible worry than the idea that after Brexit lorries will face unacceptable delays at our ports.

We need to remember that the bulk of our trade with the EU is imports, not exports. That means the crucial port movements occur in UK controlled ports. It is the UK authorities  who will have the task of checking standards and tax liabilities, as they do today whilst we are still in the EU. We have no reason to set up a complex system at the port which will cause more delay or so called friction. We can continue to use Authorised Economic Operators. electronic manifests and on line assessment, tax collection and clearance of most cargoes. Trade within the EU today requires complex calculations of VAT, other transaction taxes, quality and safety checking and other compliance. Most of this occurs away from the port. We have no need to make it too difficult when we are  out of the EU.

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56 Comments

  1. Mark B
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    The fundamental question that needs to be asked is, how do other countries outside the EU, of which there are many more, manage ?

    The only difficulty I see in leaving the EU is the set up of parallel organisations and agreements. I have made my position clear with regards to remaining in the Single Market for a short period of time to circumvent many of these issues. But alas I am in a minority here.

    Time will tell but personally we are in for Remain only.

    • jerry
      Posted July 20, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      @Mark B; I might want to leave on WTO rules but I’m open to a fixed length CU transition agreement, just so long as it is a true transition agreement that allows for our gradual disentanglement, to coin a familiar phrase, one EU regulation out one WTO regulation in meaning that from 23:01 hrs March 29th 2019 we can begin to sign our own trade deals with third countries and as those take effect any parallel EU agreement we are signed up to lapses.

      If the EU can not agree to such a transition then better we simply leave without – yes some sectors might have difficult times but we have had many before and we have always survived (with the help or out true international friends), indeed such periods has often brought the nation together.

      • libertarian
        Posted July 20, 2018 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        Jerry

        Agree, although to be honest I’m not convinced that there would be that much of an issue for our goods exporters to the EU , maybe food and agriculture, but to be honest if I was in those businesses I’d be looking to ramp up domestic sales anyway

    • Hope
      Posted July 20, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      JR, all these alleged problems are self induced by May. She is an utter disaster, underhand and a liar. We read how Hammond has deliberately slowed our economy as you previously suggested, we read Raab saying the U.K. Will be a vassal state to effectively overcome May’s Irish border problem, crime through the roof because of May’s policies, Windrush because of May, appalling immigration figures again despite May she will reduce to tens of thousands, MPs allowed anonymity while under investigation when we were promised transparency being the best disinfectant, HMRC allowed to carry out secret investigations and take money from your account without judicial or legal process, civil service KitKat policy to hide costs and ties to EU. This is May’s underhand dishonest policies.

  2. Mick
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Remoaners keep on harping on about crashing out of the dreaded Eu, so be it, i worked in the automotive industry for nearly 50years for my sins and I cannot remember how many vehicles that had crashed and then I had the task of rebuilding them back to there former glory with great results, and that’s what will do if we crash out of the Eu we will rebuild but be stronger and even more proud to be British, and if the Eu loving remoaners don’t want to be part of this great adventure then pack your bags and go live in your beloved Europe bye bye you’ll not be missed

    • Gareth
      Posted July 20, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      That is a put statement of faith, almost religious in its nature, and based on no evidence whatsoever. A classic example of what is wrong with politics today, in Britain and elsewhere.

      • libertarian
        Posted July 20, 2018 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        Gareth

        Says the man who has so far posted nothing factually correct, loads of scare stories and tales of woe .

        Gareth, please list the 4 top reasons that the EU is worth belonging to because they can’t be achieved outside it

  3. DUNCAN
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Remain’s focus on supply chains is utterly disingenuous. They aren’t concerned with supply chains per se but with stoking, inciting and indeed inventing another fear that disrupted supply chains caused, they argue, by Brexit may lead to widespread shortages

    The strategy of fear, and it is a strategy in the truest sense of the term, we have been seeing since 2014-2015 is vile, pathetic and pernicious. It is perpetrated by this PM, her advisers, EU acolytes across all political parties, the BBC and all the other pro-EU interested entities who are determined to weaken and destroy our resolve.

    Like the British left, the Remain camp care not one jot about the veracity of their claims but only with the effect that saying such things will have. Their campaign is concerned only with achieving an objective, the truth or indeed its inverse is of zero significance, a mere weapon

    I think the entire Tory party now knows that we are heading in the wrong direction both as a party and a nation.

  4. Nig l
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Send Greg Clark on a weeks secondment to an import/export or international courier company.

  5. Peter Wood
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Good morning,
    I feel so sorry for Mr. D. Raab, yesterday, valiantly attempting to defend a waste of time government White Paper and then embarrassing himself again in Brussels pretending he is the person negotiating on behalf of the UK to exit the EU.
    We then have a PM who also thinks she can persuade the Conservative Party faithful around the nation that she really does intend to take us out of the EU, “no really, I do..”. No doubt the Party members she does meet will help her with her misunderstanding of Brexit.
    Could it get more surreal.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted July 20, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Peter Wood,

      I have zero sympathy for Mr Raab, he did not have to accept the role. Knowing full well what the situation is, it is difficult to associate the word valiant with the action, I remain highly disappointed that any MP would be willing to take the position after DD’s clear reasons for resignation.

      • jerry
        Posted July 20, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        @Caterpillar; Better Mr Raab took the post, rather than some such person as Soubry or Clark, for that he does deserve some sympathy!

  6. alan jutson
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    If there are going to be any delay’s on a regular basis, then they are simply factored in, and in the light of experience, should not be that much of a problem.
    The biggest problem we have had in the past is when we have had strikes or go slows without notification by French workers, of which there have been plenty during our membership period, hence the reason we now have a lorry park facility at an old airport in Kent, rather than lining lorries up on the M20.

    During our membership we have also had Air traffic controllers strikes in France and Spain which has lead to delay’s in Air travel.
    I am sure they will still happen from time – time, no matter if we are in or out of the EU.

    Fully accept that if the EU want to play silly, then fresh produce or livestock is the cargo at most risk when being exported.

    I assume there will be an arbitration system in place should deliberate hold up’s occur.
    Likewise I assume this will not be fully administered and overseen by the EU, although at the moment with the current proposals, that unfortunately looks likely. So we will need some sort of system of compensation system should either side be guilty of deliberate delay.

    We could of course simply retaliate with our own systematic delay’s if there is a problem, but that is not really the British way of behaviour.

    • Dominic Johnson
      Posted July 20, 2018 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      Really we should be diverting around France in response to French Strikes

      • alan jutson
        Posted July 20, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        Dominic

        Perhaps we should be re-routing to avoid Rotterdam at the same time if goods eventual destination is to the rest of the World, why go through the EU.

        • getahead
          Posted July 20, 2018 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          Excellent point Alan.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Businesses will find a way round whatever lunacies, taxes, regulations and obstacles governments choose to lumber them with. Or they will change their activities, fine new customers and/or suppliers or new products.

    The fewer of these government lunacies we have the more competitive and productive we can be. The sooner we ditch all the EU ones and move to nimble self government the better. May and Hammond have decided the complete opposite and must go for this reason and the fact that May and indeed Hammond are a huge electoral liabilities. Worse perhaps even than, post ERM fiasco, John Major.

  8. oldtimer
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Your references to India and Slovakia suggests to me that you have Jaguar Land Rover in mind. JLR has been vocal in support of May’s campaign to remain as close as she can to the EU. Whether that is wise for JLR in relation to its UK customer base is another matter. I imagine most components such as engines will be shipped from the UK to its new factory in Slovakia. What will come back will be the Discovery and the Defender replacement when it is eventually launched. Such adjustment to timing that will be required to cover extra admin should be achieved relatively easily. The man from BMW complained the other day that he might need a new warehouse. It sounds like there are actually low tech as well as high tech solutions to Brexit. In the end FX changes will be far more significant.

    • Jagman84
      Posted July 20, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      The JLR hierarchy is exclusively German, French and Belgian so their stance is entirely predictable. Re Slovakia , the new facility is additional, not a replacement for UK plants. India, China and Brazil, etc are for the local markets. They are not for importing back into Europe. It’s the consequence of punitive tariffs on imports to those markets.

  9. Sakara Gold
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    I recently took my car on the early ferry from Dover to Dunkirk for a long weekend on the continent. Loading HGV’s was given priority over passenger cars however, things were organised very efficiently and we waited in an orderly queue to embark.

    Loading the lorries first meant that the passenger cars left first with no delays or customs checks, we drove straight off and into the French Autoroute system.

    I could no help but notice that there was obvious spare capacity on our ferry, the ship could have loaded at least double the number of vehicles; this was the same on the way back

    If HGV need to cross over more quickly because of delays on the EU road network they can take the much quicker but more expensive Eurostar train. Currently the channel tunnel route is underutilised.

    All this talk of problems with transport etc after Brexit is just highly paid jobsworths trying desperately to justify the existence by being obstructive. We need to sack a few of them, it would concentrate the minds of those left wonderfully

    • jerry
      Posted July 20, 2018 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      @Sakara Gold; See my reply to @Andy as to why hauliers often prefer to use a sea crossing rather than the quicker tunnel.

      • jerry
        Posted July 20, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        My reply to @Andy has been deleted, I was referring to driving hours regulation and how time at a port and on board ship can be used as a rest break.

        • Stred
          Posted July 22, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

          I crossed from Dover at the weekend and we were emailed to arrive, 90 minutes early, as French customs on Dover were taking so long. In the event, there were 3 in the booth and they were joking with each other and waved us through while laughing. Perhaps Napoleon had decided we had been taught enough about delays caused by Brexit. We were put on an earlier ferry and had time for an earlier lunch in Normandy. The rain started in Calais and we ha lunch with it running down the e back of the chairs. Hopefully the UK got some too.

  10. agricola
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    It is all dependant on volume of parts concerned. The supplier either sets up a dedicated warehouse adjacent the end user and delivers within a couple of hours to schedule, volume permitting. The alternative is for the supplier to engage a specialist logistics company who will warehouse and deliver to schedule. This is the current norm in the circumstances you describe.

  11. jerry
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    John some of us have been talking about this for a long time, when many others were still more intent on finding scapegoats out of people who came to the UK to do work many born in the UK refused to do, and some still refuse.

    Back on topic; “Lets take a complex supply chain. The company concerned needs imported components from India and from Slovakia to meet an automated manufacturing system.”

    Well the first couple of things to do is stop calling it a “complex supply chain” it is simple imports/exports, UK companies have always imported raw or component parts, neither the Dunlop Rubber company grew rubber trees, or Brooke Bond grew their tea plants, here in the UK. Then of course companies should be made to ask if they actually need to source their from over seas. JIT production can have resilience built in to it but that is an additional cost, money directors and investors have been reluctant to give up…

    As for road congestion at and to/from the ports, apart from better road infrastructure, the government could always scrap that white elephant of a vanity project (I of course refer to HS2) and replace it with slower-speed but high-capacity railway lines primarily dedicated to freight transport, a north-south line serving Southampton connecting with freight terminals for London, Birmingham, Manchester and then the north & Scotland plus east west routes from the above. Much of these routes already exist either as open railway lines or closed currently track beds. Of course any of the above depends on dealing with NIMBY elements that infest our local and national planning procedures, something else that needs tackling head on.

  12. Know-Dice
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    I can place an online order with at least two American companies and have the goods delivered to me within two days, duty and carriage paid.

    It’s not rocket science dealing with companies outside of the EU…

  13. Andy
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I mostly wonder where exactly you think Slovakia is if you think it takes 4 days for deliveries to come from there.

    Slovakia borders Austria – if I left from my base near Heathrow now I could drive to Slovakia and be there around midnight. Even in a lorry.

    And thanks to the wonderful Channel Tunnel I won’t need a sea crossing either. In fact, pre-Brexit – most days – there will be few delays at all even at Folkestone.

    I may encounter a bit of traffic around Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna but the worst bit of my entire journey will almost certainly be from Heathrow to Folkestone. Decades of under-investment in infrastructure by UK governments of all colours have given us just about the worst roads in western Europe.

    If you want to improve delivery times you need to scrap Brexit – which adds unnecessary cost, bureaucracy and delays to trade – and you need to invest hugely in our roads and railways. Perhaps you should join Labour?

    Reply I was using freight forwarders quoted times!

    • Edward2
      Posted July 20, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Labour have no policies to build more roads and railways.
      They have consistently opposed investment in new by passes, dual carriageways, new motorways and new rail lines.
      PS
      Why does brexit add delay to trade?
      There are no delays to exporting and importing when dealing with non EU nations currently.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 20, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Andy

      Oh it just keeps on coming, day after day a display of almighty ignorance.

      You are an EU fan boy so surely you’re familiar with Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 pro ?

      No? Well tell you what , why dont you go away and actually find out something about the real world of business and trade and the transport/haulage regulations

      You have never run a business thats obvious

  14. Kenneth
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    The people making comments about lorries stuck in Dover are taking us for fools.

    I am happy to consider valid arguments but “planes won’t fly” and “lorries at Dover” comments are not serious attempts at debate.

  15. ChrisS
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    When we are free of the EU, why don’t we move away from the complications of VAT and move to a point-of-sale tax, like the USA ?

    It would simplify importation massively and relieve millions of small and medium sized UK businesses of the burden of charging, collecting and accounting for tax.

    Is there any reason why not ?

    • Augustyn
      Posted July 20, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      I agree with this completely.
      VAT is hugely wasteful of human energy, adds no value to business or government and is wide open to fraud.
      A sales tax where tax is only paid on sales to consumers would significantly reduce the workload at HMRC.

  16. jonP
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    A sea journey is also open to bad weather with the knock-on delays to arrival time.. cargoes of metal, steel and other parts can become rust tainted with the sea air and condensation over longer periods of time, not to mention the chance of bad weather damage that might not be discovered until the parts arrive at the factory floor, not exactly JIT..and as regards Fruit and Veg meat cargo and other food items which can arrive on time in atmosphere controlled cargo spaces and containers, but hardly fresh. So deep-sea transport also has it’s drawbacks – that’s if we had enough deep sea transport ships- but we don’t anymore

    • jerry
      Posted July 20, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      @JonP; ISO containers are pretty weather water tight, it is possible for such containers that have been lost over-board to float, whilst stowaways have sadly been known to die from a lack of oxygen. If the above wasn’t the case why would any company risk shipping highly delicate electronics, textiles and other sensitive goods?! What you say is certainly applicable to deck cargo, and sometimes hold cargo but not always, the last thing you want is water getting into a sealed hold full of wheat!

  17. Andy
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile, I’m told today that on weekly basis the government is going to warn me of the Brexit risks I face as a consumer, a worker, a businessman and a general all-round decent human being.

    Pray tell – what possible risks could there be from the golden unicorn, land of honey, have our cake and eat it Brexit that we have all been promised?

    Surely we all get richer, there’s more trade, there’s less bureaucracy, our rights are not trashed, our environment is properly protected, bank notes fall from the sky and all the foreigners clear off home while still allowing us to live and work bureaucracy free in their countries. We were promised nothing less. How’s delivery going? Oops.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 20, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      It is information.
      Yet you spin it as a warning
      Ridiculous remainer spin Andy

    • jerry
      Posted July 20, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      @Andy; It only becomes a ‘warning’ if you do not take heed of the information, for the rest, most of it will not be new anyway.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 20, 2018 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Andy

      Got you there, you have never ever run a business

    • libertarian
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Andy

      Well if you won’t believe us maybe you’ll believe your hero Michel Barnier ?

      “May’s Chequers plan has been rejected by the EU’s Brexit chief – partly because it would give UK firms a competitive edge.”

      LOVE that the EU accept that leaving the EU & lowering tax/regulatory burden would make UK businesses more competitive

      Kind of puts a spanner in your works now really Andy.

  18. ian
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Three-D printers are even faster in most cases.

    • jerry
      Posted July 20, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      @ian; As long as you’re only prototyping or are manufacturing very low volume or one-off designs. A lot of bull is talked about Three-D printers, at least for the moment, their time may come, in the same way as truly driver-less cars might!

  19. a-tracy
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Our English Highways authorities are making enough of a mess of our motorways without worrying about Europe’s road networks. Endless 50mph restricted sections now with no increase in professional driver’s hours to accomplish the same journeys but at a much slower speed.
    Endless roads blocked off with no-one working on those sections. We don’t finish one section before coning off another with no-one there working on both sections.

    Traffic signs about obstructions till on electronic gantries long after the problem was removed.

    No ease of known congested merging motorways they have been the same for two decades without any thought about improvements.

    Birmingham is just a congested nightmare, two new bypass roads are required up to the port in North Wales and another to aid the East. Ask any professional driver the worst areas in the Country to negotiate and you may be surprised it’s not London it’s Birmingham.

    One more thing on red-hot days, shouldn’t hay lorries on British motorways be covered in flameproof tarps or travel outside of the midday heat (evenings and nights only)? Flicked still burning cigarette dimps out of the cars of passing motorists and boom superheated hay bales, lorries burnt out, roads closed all day, motorways melted, multiple fire trucks to sort out the mess.

    • jerry
      Posted July 20, 2018 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      @a-tracy; “Flicked still burning cigarette dimps out of the cars of passing motorists and boom […]”

      So you blame the hauliers for what unthinking members of the public do?

      At one time the public would have been made aware of such risks by way of Public Information Films, but governments elected since 1979 gradually shut down the COI PIF service, perhaps we should spend some of the Brexit dividend on re-establishing what was and should still be a useful service.

      • a-tracy
        Posted July 20, 2018 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

        I don’t disagree with you Jerry. I spend too much time complying with H&S legislation and after spending a great deal of my time in this very incident this week simply wondered why this isn’t risk assessed by the haulier because if I was carrying this load I would have assessed this risk and tarped the load.

        • jerry
          Posted July 21, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

          @a-tracy; There can be other, perhaps higher, risks in sheeting over a load. As it is, the largest number of lorry/trailer fires are caused by brakes/bearings over heating.

          • a-tracy
            Posted July 21, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

            There were two hay bale truck fires this week Jerry the M5 and the M11, more if you want to search. What are the risks in professionally sheeting a load of hay that you’re referring to?
            There are lots of reasons for fires, oil caps not being fitted back on properly to electrical and all sorts of reasons as you discussed. Just as there are many reasons for cycling accidents, I’d choose to wear reflective clothes and a cycling helmet others may not.

            These hay fire incidents are locking down motorways and causing severe disruptions for hours it wouldn’t hurt to investigate them and if there is a safer way or time to transport them, rather than midday, then we should.

          • jerry
            Posted July 22, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

            @a-tracy; There were many more car accidents on our motorways this week and every week than lorry fires, what ever the cause. According to your logic perhaps we should just ban cars from the motorways, or could limit them to just certain times of the day or night?!..

            There are good reasons why hay might not be sheeted, what is more sheeting it might not stop such fires anyway, and could even cause more fires, as hay can suffer instantaneous combustion if it gets to hot.

            You also seem to forget that farms and their associated industries are just as much working factories or offices as any, perhaps more so because without them your might not get your breakfast, lunch and evening meal unless you’re either Tom Good or go foraging on the wild side for it…

          • a-tracy
            Posted July 24, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

            If I were the transport company that has lost a trucks earnings now until a replacement vehicle can be procured or the insurance company that is covering the cost of this lost load and vehicle I would be asking questions about carrying this load on a super hot day in the midday sun between 12 and 3pm that’s all really. I would be asking if it could have set off earlier and been delivered before midday. I would be asking would a flameproof tarp have helped to prevent or not. If I were the fire brigade with four units out on this I would be asking if there are precautions that could be taken. If I were Highways England with a road repair and many thousands of people affected could precautions stop this happening on super hot, sunny days only in the UK then I would take the precautions end of.

      • libertarian
        Posted July 21, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        Jerry

        True but we do have very expensive digital signage on motorways and major A roads that tell us all kinds of things not to do

        • jerry
          Posted July 21, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

          @Libby; Yes and judging how most people totally ignore such high-tech signage whilst driving they are almost worse than useless. The most effective “Think Bike” campaigns have been those delivered into peoples living room, because a PIF is by nature more than just text or a still image, hence the message is more powerful.

  20. KZB
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I too find this sudden concern over journey times laughable.

    We have the most congested roads in Europe. It is impossible to drive any distance and know how long it is going to take. Just look at the M6.

    Where was all this concern during the time congestion was ramping up to the current catastrophic levels?

  21. Augustyn
    Posted July 20, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Those businesses which have genuinely complex supply chains importing goods from multiple companies andcountries already build in the risks of uncertainties in their buying decisions. The mechanism by which they moderate the risks is called stock. if there is a threat to production , and therefore sales and profit, the reaction is to increase stock.

    Conventional wisdom is that businesses should hold as little capital in the form of stock as possible. This came about when interest rates were high and of course rates have never been lower. So, the interest cost of just say doubling stock is likely to be low.

    If folks experience delayed supplies and need to increase stock then the obvious first stop is to speak with suppliers to achieve an extension to their payment terms. That way there is no additional cost to the UK business.

  22. ian
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    Jerry, Rolls Royce use them for all there blades in jet engines and other components, big business, as usual, trying to block them, even as they use them themselves, can you imagine automated factories with banks of three D printers printing anything you need, copyrights, all you need is the raw materials, cheap electric and China would be out of business with the rest. No need for all the ships, all made in the UK, houses as well, Then we can all sit around talking crap like the rest in parliament and in the boardrooms while watching their share go down with their money.

    • jerry
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Apologies to our host for the unclosed HTML tag in my other reply.

      @ian, We could all take isolated or specialised examples and claim a rule (that doesn’t exist, and might never exist) to prove a vestige interest ones argument!

      3D printing is a niche, and often highly expensive. For most things traditional manufacturing methods are and will remain far more cost effective, if not the only option, even with off-shoring and distribution costs, if either start to increase (monitory or time) it indicates one needs to find a better off-shore location or it’s time to bring production back on-shore.

    • jerry
      Posted July 21, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      @ian; You keep giving examples of highly specialised parts made by 3D printers, not the sort of run-of-the-mill components that are the bread & butter of mass production and JIT stock control. You appear to think that 3D printing can compete with a plastic moulding or die casting machine kicking out hundreds (if not thousands) of parts par per day – you also do not appear to understand how quickly plastic and die cast machines run and the quality that can be available straight out of the mould these days.

      I’m not saying never, just not for the foreseeable, and certainly not something to plan ones pension on!

  23. Kenneth
    Posted July 21, 2018 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    The doctor’s surgery is a quaint leftover from when they were paid directly for their services.

    It does not work – and never has worked imho – with a service where the patient pays nothing directly.

    The effect is that expensive GPs who should be targeting their resources for the good of their whole list of patients are being tied down to a triage service where the workload and prioritisation is dictated by whoever turns up at the surgery with minor ailments and lonely people taking up too much of the GP’s time.

    I would suggest that nurses take over the surgery and the doctor is freed to treat patients according to clinical priority.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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