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Freight flows to Gibraltar unaffected by reef row

[ August 23, 2013   //   ]

Freight traffic between the UK and Gibraltar has so far been unaffected by the border delays that have affected passenger transport to and from the Rock. Formula Goss International (FGI), which currently loads one or two groupage trailers a week to Gibraltar said that operations “are not affected at the moment.”

The Spanish authorities have been prolonging border checks at La Linea, the land entry point to Gibraltar from Spain in a row with the UK over the building of an artificial reef – but so far, for passengers only. According to FGI’s agent on Gibraltar, Jai Mirpuri at Freight-IT, this had led to “an insufferable wave of delays” for the passenger border crossing with queues of up to 5-6 hours. However, he added: “I have to thankfully say that this has not yet affected the commercial border controls.”

His analysis is that “as Gibraltar practically lives off tourism they have targeted the passenger crossing as an attempt to discourage international visitors along with local Spanish residents from spending any money here whilst at the commercial border a vast majority of the Gibraltar imports are based on supplies coming in from Spanish companies which would mean money for Spain.

“In my opinion any hindrance here would only affect their own economy in a negative manner which with Spain’s current situation would not be a sensible decision to make.”

While he did not rule out the possibility that escalating tensions between the two countries might affect commercial traffic in future, “this is something we don’t want to even think about at this point as the repercussions will be immense.”

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