UK freight firm struggles to trade post-Brexit

It's been one month since Brexit trade rules finally took effect in the United Kingdom.

And shipping experts like Jon Swallow say they’re seeing fewer exports, pricier imports, and much more paperwork.

"This is always the weird thing - you know, we're going back in time, it feels. And I think, now I'm saying all the reams of paper being printed and things, it really does feel a step backwards."

Swallow is the director of a company called Jordan Freight. It's one of thousands of freight forwarders and customs brokers based around Britain's biggest ports.

He says the overnight introduction of a full customs border feels like the country is placing economic sanctions on itself.

Britain left the European Union's orbit on New Year's Eve after 47 years of membership.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson argued that a more nimble Britain would be able to trade globally after leaving what he called an overly bureaucratic EU.

But companies that trade goods between Britain and the bloc now have to go through more red tape, and the smaller ones, in particular, are paying a price.

"People built their businesses around that free-flowing (English) Channel, and so just to put it up (increase paperwork) overnight is really going to hurt some businesses."

Swallow's firm moves up to 10,000 truckloads across Europe a year.

He said they would usually have handled an equal measure of imports and exports.

In January his exports have all but disappeared and the price of bringing goods in has jumped.

The government says it's working to help smaller firms adapt.

And Johnson acknowledged the teething problems but said there will be benefits for trade in the long term.