Saturday 3 December 2016

Calais chaos costing Irish hauliers a fortune

Published 04/08/2015 | 02:30

Striking employees of a ferry company blocked the access to the harbour in Calais by setting tyres on fire after talks over job cuts failed. The fires added to the chaos created by the clampdown on illegal migrants entering the Channel Tunnel
Striking employees of a ferry company blocked the access to the harbour in Calais by setting tyres on fire after talks over job cuts failed. The fires added to the chaos created by the clampdown on illegal migrants entering the Channel Tunnel

Tonnes of imports to Ireland - with some consignments worth more than €60,000 - are being ruined as the migrant crisis in Calais deepens.

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Traffic through the Channel Tunnel has been severely disrupted over the past month, due to striking French ferry workers blockading the port.

Emergency food, water supplies and even portable toilets have had to be provided for some drivers, who have been stuck in their cabs for days.

The tailbacks have led to thousands of migrants attempting to stow away in some of the many haulage trucks tied up in a series of giant tailbacks.

Verona Murphy, president of the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA), said lorries are now being held up for so long that some food consignments are "going off" due to the crisis.

If a load is judged to be contaminated, it has to be written off, because supermarkets and other retailers consider it a health risk.

"I have a load of chickens worth more than €60,000, and it's not going to arrive at its destination on time. I had a load with the ingredients for Ferrero Rocher turned down, and that was worth €85,000," she told the Irish Independent.

"Currently, we have a load of pharmaceuticals worth €250,000 that have been impounded.

"There is a significant difficulty with date-sensitive goods."

She also said migrants stow away on some lorries. If this happens, the food on board also has to be written off.

She said the crisis had also seen insurance for freight companies soar.

Irish Independent

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