Freight News, Road

Stowaways put UK supply chain at risk says BIFA

[ May 20, 2015   //   ]

A surge in illegal immigrants trying to stow away on trucks passing at Calais Eurotunnel terminal and ferry port could put cross channel trailer services at risk, says BIFA.
Director general Robert Keen says that the trade association’s members – who tend to be truck hirers, rather than operators says: “The recent scenes are the worst we have ever witnessed. Our members’ cross channel trailer services are being directly targeted by the migrants putting the security of drivers, vehicles and customers’ loads at risk.”
The illegal passengers can also seriously delay trucks into the UK, with knock-on effects throughout the supply chain.
Keen warns: “Without action now from the authorities in France and the UK, I believe there is a good chance that if the situation continues, international transport sub-contractors will start to refuse to operate on the Continent-UK cross channel market, due to the personal and financial risks that they and their staff are now taking.
“We are pressing the authorities to step up their protection of the routes across the Channel and fulfil their obligations to let trade move unhindered before serious damage is done to this strategic freight route.”
BIFA encourages its members to take strong measures to secure their vehicles from the start of their journey to the Calais area and urged their drivers to stay vigilant and accountable for their trucks and loads.
It has also welcomed the news that Eurotunnel has converted its existing terminal parking area into an extended pre check-in zone in order to boost security for around150 additional trucks. Later this year, Eurotunnel will be opening extended terminal facilities and a new secure truck park, which should further reduce the ability of migrants to climb aboard vehicles.