Long week ahead as Dover-Calais freight transport nightmare continues
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Logjams caused by disruption to Dover-Calais ferry services briefly subsided towards the end of the weekend, only come to back with a bang due to Eurotunnel services being hit.
As we reported earlier today, Eurotunnel’s freight services were disrupted this morning “due to a train stopped temporarily in the Tunnel”. The problem limited departure frequency to just one per hour for many hours.
At the time of publication, the frequency has gone up to two departures per hour from Folkestone-Calais, and four departures per hour in the opposite direction. Even so, longer than average border crossing times are still being estimated by Eurotunnel.
To make matters worse, DFDS ferry services were subject to delays today.
— DFDS UK Updates (@DFDSUKUpdates) April 4, 2022
The scale of the queues created by the disruption is truly something to behold.
We’re not even in Ashford Int.
Look at that queue! pic.twitter.com/TSUSx3JiBR
— Dr Anna Jerzewska (@AnnaJerzewska) April 4, 2022
The video below by Whites Transport Services lasts over a minute and despite being sped up, features a tailback of lorries from start to finish.
@whitestransportservices #dover #folkestone #whitestransportservices #operationbrock #kent #trucksoftiktok #transportservices ♬ Still Don’t Know My Name – Labrinth
The day before that post, the same haulage firm predicted that “If tomorrow morning operation brock is still in place with long queues, it will be one of the worst weeks ever.” Given that Brock was in place this morning, it doesn’t bode well.
#Dover today, on Portuguese news.
— Maria Garcia (@MariGarCar) April 4, 2022
As it stands, the disruption is still evident, with webcam footage showing long queues, and data from supply chain visibility provider Sixfold estimating significant delays of cross-Channel services.
Another issue that has not abated is the ongoing problems with the UK Government’s post-Brexit GVMS system. As the RHA’s Duncan Buchanan tweeted earlier, HMRC has had to issue guidance due to the problems persisting.
Advice from @HMRCgovuk on GVMS delays in full below.
This is taking a while to fix… concerning given that next batch of changes coming soon.@RishiSunak @grantshapps @RHAHeather @TrucknDriver @TruckNet_UK @Motor_Transport @MotorwayBuddy pic.twitter.com/LJ8kQkkwB3
— Duncan Buchanan (@RHADuncanB) April 4, 2022
It may take some time for things to get back up to speed on the Short Straits. Although Eurotunnel seems to have solved its issues, and the weather is not preventing ferry sailings, P&O’s fleet operating on the route remains grounded. On top of that, more passenger traffic is expected due to the Easter holidays.
Unfortunately we cannot say for certain when our services will resume on this route. If your booking is affected we will be in contact with you directly
— P&O Ferries Updates (@POferriesupdate) April 4, 2022