For several months there have been delays and disruptions at Calais due to a strike and blockade of the Channel Tunnel. The strikers are protesting the takeover of MyFerryLink by Danish company DFDS and the resulting loss of jobs in the restructuring.
The strike has caused massive delays both at the tunnel and at ferry crossings
"It has been challenging around Calais for several months now. Our forwarders have done a fantastic job re-routing trucks to alternative ferry crossings and concentrating on giving our regular customers a reliable service, but the situation is very difficult. We look forward to seeing our trucks moving and the situation back to normal, allowing us to continue our high service level, but it is not up to us,” says Jesper Hansen, MD of Road UK.
Problems at the crossing from the UK to mainland Europe are not new, with weather typically being the cause, especially during winter. But the blockades have at times succeeded in closing the crossing completely and is causing massive delays of up to 24 hours even when traffic is moving.
Unresolved immigration policies add to chaos
Adding to the chaos is the fact that about 3,000 migrants are camped in Calais, trying to get to the UK at any cost. Several have tragically perished while attempting to cross the border. The migrants are desperate to get to a place they believe will give them a better life and when the trucks are queued, large groups are now trying to board the trailers and hide in the trucks to get across.
The level of aggression has gone up, and our hauliers are worried about the destruction of goods, the safety of their drivers and the potential fines they have to pay if they carry unauthorised migrants to the UK. We hope that France, the UK and ultimately the European Union can solve this tragic situation and prevent further insecurity and loss of life and property.
Please feel free to ask your local DSV contact if you have questions regarding shipments to and from the UK and any delays you might experience.
To read more about the migrants fighting to cross to the UK, follow this link to the BBC.
To read about the problems on the UK side, follow this link to the BBC.