Freight News, Rail, Road, Sea

Calais shows resilience in face of trade storms

[ January 26, 2021   //   ]

Freight through Calais was down by only 8% in 2020, at 1,662,217 lorries, despite the numerous problems caused by Brexit and the Covid crisis, said the port operator in its annual report.

The months of April and May, at the height of the Covid crisis, were particularly hard hit and there was a decline over the two months of 25% and 20% respectively. However, from June traffic picked up again to reach its peak in the last three months of the year, due to stockpiling in anticipation of Brexit. An average of 44,000 trucks passed through Calais each week in the last month of the year, with 7,792 lorries on 16 December alone, a daily record for that month.

Unaccompanied trailers transferring from road or rail to sea fell 6%, to37,323 units. However, the last quarter saw very strong activity and a record-breaking December, with an increase of more than 127% compared to 2019.

The rail motorway terminal, meanwhile, experienced a year of growth in 2020. At the end of the year, boosted by the Brexit effect, the number of unaccompanied travelling on VIIA’s rail motorway increased by 11% to 18,661 trailers, even though the Calais-Orbassano (Italy) route was suspended for five months.

Calais maintained its leadership in for cross-Channel freight with a 44.7% market share.