Report: data suggests many hauliers could be boycotting P&O

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Data seen by ITV News has shown how P&O's Dover-Calais fleet only carried an average of 34 lorries per crossing in the week starting on May 9th. One of the ferries operating on the route only used up 19% of its freight capacity in the same week. Although the figures suggest hauliers could be giving P&O the cold shoulder, a representative of one of the company's competitors has said he would be surprised if that were the case.

Report: data suggests many hauliers could be boycotting P&O
Photo: Dguendel, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The aforementioned figures comes from ITV News, who have seen “traffic data” relating to P&O’s Dover-Calais sailings.

According to ITV, in the week starting on May 9th, the average load factor for P&O’s largest Dover-Calais vessel, the Spirit of Britain, was 19%. On one sailing, there were only 10 lorries on the ferry, which can accommodate as many as 180.

ITV News’ Joel Hills spoke to “an executive at one of P&O’s rivals” in order to get some insight into the figures.

The anonymous executive told Mr Hills that “An average load factor of 19% is very low indeed.” He added that anything lower than 60% at this time of year would be considered disappointing.

Given the widespread anger over P&O’s controversial staff restructuring, as well as safety concerns sparked by numerous failed MCA inspections, one possibility for the low figures could be a consumer boycott among hauliers.

However, the anonymous ferry operator executive interviewed by ITV News said he would be surprised if that were the case.

“I’d be surprised if P&O is suffering a customer boycott,” the ferry executive told ITV News. Business is business, there’s a need to get goods to market. Morality is there, but it’s not usually a guiding factor when booking a ship for freight”.


Photo: Dguendel, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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