The British International Freight Association (BIFA) is warning that a recent increase in people attempting to stow away on trucks passing through the Calais Eurotunnel terminal and ferry port is threatening the future of cross channel trailer services.
Robert Keen, Director General of BIFA, said that the trade association’s members are reporting growing numbers of illegal immigrants attempting to board trucks heading for the UK from France.
“Our members’ cross channel trailer services are being directly targeted by migrants, putting the security of drivers, vehicles and customers’ loads at risk,” said Keen.
“This can cause long delays to the scheduled arrival times of trucks in our members’ depots, jeopardise the delivery of freight for their customers and cause huge inefficiencies in their transport planning.
“Without action now from the authorities in France and the UK, I believe there is a good chance that if the situation continues, international transport sub-contractors will start to refuse to operate on the Continent-UK cross channel market.
“We are pressing the authorities to step up their protection of the routes across the Channel and fulfil their obligations to let trade move unhindered before serious damage is done to this strategic freight route.”
To combat the issue, Eurotunnel has converted its existing terminal parking area into an extended pre check-in zone and will be opening extended terminal facilities and a new secure truck park later this year.