Channel Tunnel Mayhem Sends UK Lorries to East Coast Ports

Disruptions at the Channel Tunnel in July resulted in the drivers of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) turning to ports on the east coast of England for transport to the European continent, according to Britain’s ferry operator P&O Ferries.

P&O Ferries recorded significant increases in volumes of HGVs crossing the North Sea to and from all three of its east coast ports last month, with a year-on-year uplift of 172 per cent on the Teesport to Zeebrugge route.

The Hull to Zeebrugge route saw an 84 per cent year-on-year increase in July while the Tilbury to Zeebrugge route saw a 74 per cent increase. In total, P&O Ferries carried 2,518 HGVs across the North Sea during the month. Zeebrugge is located 80 miles from Calais on the Belgian coast.

The demand for P&O Ferries’ services from the east coast on England comes at a time when the company is also carrying high volumes of HGVs on its Dover to Calais route. In July, the ferry operator carried 123,000 freight units across the English Channel.

Janette Bell, Commercial Director at P&O Ferries, said: “Importers and exporters who have previously crossed to the continent via the Channel tunnel are starting to look at longer routes from Teesport, Hull and Tilbury as a more reliable alternative. Exporters know the value and time sensitive nature of their deliveries, whether they are perishable goods or manufacturing components. It is significant that they are now becoming increasingly aware of the alternative North Sea routes to the continent which we offer. As the British economy continues to grow, we expect to see more demand for services from Teesport, Hull and Tilbury.”