We anticipate further delays at Eurotunnel, Calais and surrounding ports, as industrial action by French customs officials, over a no-deal Brexit, is expected to continue until at least the 3rd April.
Customs officials have not been on strike. They have been working to rule carrying out tighter checks on lorries heading for the Channel Tunnel and the ferry port, as in a no-deal Brexit, which as resulted in long truck queues of up to 20 miles and delays of up to six hours in recent weeks.
French customs officers are demanding better pay and conditions, together with more staff and resources to deal with increased border controls in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The action which started almost a month ago has had a profound impact on cross-channel road freight operations.
The ongoing delays in France, are contributing to a lack of equipment availability, which is leading to increased price volatility and the imposition of congestion surcharges by some hauliers, which we work consistently to protect our shippers from.
Perhaps the most worrying development, and a possible situation post-Brexit, is that some road operators are cancelling services to the UK to avoid equipment being ‘trapped’ in the congestion.
Diversion to alternative ports, including North Sea routes, are now causing capacity issues on these routes and sailings are becoming over-subscribed, which will add more congestion.
We continue to monitor the situation and will update you as appropriate. Please contact us directly, if you have any questions or concerns.