The continued chaos in Calais is impacting Scottish exports and the French Government must take action on the migrant situation in the port as a matter of urgency – is the message from the FTA today.
Responding to the Scottish Government’s call for ‘action’ to help alleviate the delays to exports – the Freight Transport Association (FTA) reiterated that the situation is not just affecting the south east of England but that it is a much wider issue affecting industry nationwide.
The combination of industrial action and migrant activity in and around the port of Calais has continued to cause chaos both in the UK and France, including the implementation of Operation Stack on the M20 in Kent causing delays for some truck drivers for hours – some up to 20 hours at a time.
Scottish businesses from the fishing and food processing sectors have raised their concerns regarding the impact of delays and potential delays on their businesses.
Margaret Simpson, FTA’s Country Manager – Scotland said:
“The situation in Calais is having a huge impact on the Scottish freight industry. The delays on both sides of the Channel are causing financial and logistical implications for operators and it can’t be allowed to continue. Every year we are subject to disruptions of some kind at the French ports and the migrant issue this year has simply compounded an ongoing problem.”
FTA has previously highlighted the detrimental effect on the national supply chain because of lengthy delays to cross the Channel, and warned of the cost to the economy as loads are being damaged by the extensive delays and those being rejected by customers because of contamination when migrants break on board of trucks.
Operation Stack is used to park HGVs on the M20 and can affect 35 miles of the motorway. The system is normally used during cross-Channel disruption, and has been implemented on 26 occasions in the past six weeks causing subsequent chaos in Kent not only for freight operators, but also for residents, tourist traffic and local businesses.