The problem of truck traffic around the important British port city of Dover remains unresolved. For various reasons, transportation is not easy from the UK to France, causing traffic jams of more than 30 kilometers in recent days.
UK Environment Secretary George Eustice told the BBC that congestion appeared to be easing. Dutch transport companies reacted differently to the ‘drama’, Logistics director Jan de Rijk Fred Westdijk called it.
Van Duijn Transport chose to take the train through the tunnel from France to the UK, as now P&O ferries don’t sail after mass redundancy. The lack of P&O vessels is seen as one of the main reasons for traffic jams between the EU and the UK.
Ronald Snoep, head of the meat department at Van Duijn, calculates an average of four to five hours of additional travel time for the forty trucks that go there each day. But the driver had spent about twenty hours in what would normally be a few hours. Product customers sometimes react angrily to delays. ‘The sector doesn’t want those things if they arrive a day later. Then customers have bought chicken elsewhere’, said Snoep.
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Jan de Rijk Logistics has chosen to keep the approximately 65 trucks that drive daily to the UK and back to the Netherlands. “We’re not going to put drivers in a traffic jam for 40 to 48 hours and send them down that black hole,” Westdijk’s director said on the matter, particularly on the English Channel side. “You’ll never get out of it.”
Transport companies, such as DLG, also choose to take shipping routes across the North Sea from carriers other than P&O. For example, most of the daily 125 to 150 DLG trucks are transported by boat, says director Joost Visbeen. This overloads capacity and results in extra travel time. ‘Hours of work are lost, which doesn’t make logistics cheaper in an already rising inflation,’ says Visbeen.
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