Darlly, the leading supplier of pool and spa replacement cartridge filters throughout UK and Europe, have been forced to create a new European business, Darlly Europe BV, and have set up an entire new operation within The Netherlands, as a dedicated storage and distribution centre for their premium spa filters as an answer to the shipment and logistic nightmares following Brexit.
Darlly Europe had only moved to their new premises in Telford just before Christmas when, within months, it became clear Brexit would not be the smooth, barrier-free, tariff-free affair as promised by politicians. It was proving worse than anything feared pre 31st December 2020.
Whilst over 200 of their dealers are based in the UK and 150 located in Europe, their European sales represent over 55% of sales income. And, they are very proud of the fact that 100% of their dealer base are from within the pool and spa trade sector.
The entire pool and spa industry was severely challenged throughout 2020, with high demand, low supply and operational difficulties due to Covid.
Phil Moseley declared, " We had dealt with the Covid challenge, which in itself had bought a 50% increase in demand and then towards the end of that year we also moved to a new, much larger warehouse with modern offices and dedicated goods inward and outward with capacity to store over 100,000 filters and handle a throughput of 3,000 filters daily.
With this new setup, we were looking forward, no matter what Brexit threw at us, to our new operation still being able to supply all 27 European countries. Alas, very quickly through January and, frustratingly, into February it became evident moving goods from the UK into Europe was not going to work to the high standard of efficiency our customers had come to expect from us, whats more, it was proving far more expensive for ourselves and our loyal customers.
Goods that were normally delivered anywhere within the European Union within 4 days of order, were not taking just weeks, but in some cases months to get there, as well as the complicated documentation, tariffs and VAT implications ”
Gil Gingell added, "The Brexit deal had given UK logistic companies a week (from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve) to prepare for EU business, however even after three months, it was apparent, tariffs, customs fees (both here and in EU), the precise details necessary on Commercial Invoicing and the cross-border delays for transport as a result, that we had to quickly move our European business into the European Union itself.
Fortunately, from some long-standing contacts within The Netherlands we were able to find a well-established, extremely professional, transport and fulfilment company based in Eindhoven that currently stores 22,000 pallets and handles 8 containers inward daily. Moreover, they were building a brand-new transport and logistics centre, opening in June, that could handle double this amount.
In one move, we had removed red-tape documentation, border logjams and higher delivery costs; in fact, deliveries to our EU customers will be quicker and much cheaper than pre-Brexit. Good news at last!"
It is hoped that by the end of April, containers and UK stock will go directly to their new partners Van der Heijden in Eindhoven which is only a few kilometres from the Tilburg Train Depot. And whilst all order processing and the customer helpline will continue from Telford in UK all pallets will be sent direct from Eindhoven across the entirety of the European Union.
Trade customers with just small carton orders, not requiring pallet loads, will be directed to Spa Plus based in Bergeijk, who have been a successful Darlly premium distributor now for over 10 years and will be charging exactly the same trade prices for cartons, again with much lower shipping charges.
Phil added “ The other new challenge at the moment to add to Covid and Brexit which, again, is affecting the entire industry, is the Chinese container crisis.
Whilst container costs have quadrupled recently, and the Suez container ship blockage has poured more fuel onto the fire in delaying shipments from 1 month to 3 months there is also a hope that being so close to Tilburg means we can use the extraordinary train service which brings containers directly over land from China to Netherlands in just over 2 weeks.
Which gets a huge and thankful nod of approval from us!”