'Extra time' vital for sporting summer

13 July 2012

The Olympic Games, the biggest event on the planet, will undoubtedly slow things down for business – but the clear message is: “Don’t panic. Plan ahead and you can avoid problems.”

Allowing extra time for paperwork and logistics is the best way to ensure the smooth running of international trade. Anticipating other possible snarl-ups enables you to put solutions in place

The Olympics and Paralympics cover a six-week window from 27th July until 9th September. It will mean traffic disruption not only in the capital but at dozens of other events sites across the UK. There are likely to be plenty of other consequences, too, perhaps unforeseen. But that’s why planning is so important.

Accompanied by the biggest security operation since the Second World War, the London Games will transform the city but also present challenges for companies engaged in international trade.

Fuelled by feverish media speculation many businesses are worried about predicted disruption. Yet surprisingly only a fifth of firms have yet adopted firm plans to minimise potential problems, according to a new YouGov poll. It revealed that more than half of firms expected employees to work from home during the festivities and a fifth saying they would hold more meetings online.

Previous predictions of meltdown such as the supposed Y2K computer “Millennium Bug” failed to materialise simply because companies planned shead, upgraded their systems and avoided problems.

Being prepared now will achieve the same objective this summer.

Later this month and next the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce and some embassies will be adopting shorter working hours during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan from 18th July until 20th August. Some embassies will close for the festival of Eid marking the end of the month-long fast.

The ABCC warns that this will cause “slight delays” of between one and three days in the turnaround of documents and disruption to courier services in London. It urges exporters to allow extra time for documents.