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Monday 3 August 2015

Calais Crisis Costing UK Businesses Millions

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Over the last few weeks drivers have faced huge delays at the Channel tunnel due to the migrant crisis in Calais. So far the UK and French governments haven’t found a solution to the number of migrants now arriving at the port. This has had a huge impact on British businesses as they are being forced to find alternative ways of transporting their goods over the Channel. 

Many companies have had to use aircrafts to transfers essential goods, but even though it is a quick-fix solution, it will cost a lot more money in the long run. 

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) believes the Calais crisis is costing the UK £250m a day in lost trade. The Guardian stated that the study, which was commissioned by Dove economics consultancy Oxera “calculated the annual value of goods in the 2.2m freight vehicles travelling via Dover and Calais to be £89bn, a figure quoted by the FTA as the yearly worth of UK trade.”

What's even more troubling is the fact that the figure could be higher still: Dover claims freight traffic has expanded "considerably" since the study and that it only takes into account ferries, which represent 63% of Channel crossings. The real figure could be as much as £160bn, which would equate to £440m a day in lost trade.

The owner of Lincolnshire-based Denby Transport told ITV News his own company has lost "tens of thousands" of pounds and Welsh haulage firm MCL Logistics told the BBC that it is facing a bill of £100,000 a month. Rolls-Royce, the British carmaker, spoke to The Financial Times and said that the crisis had caused huge delays to incoming car parts: “We have experienced disruption to our production. It’s a challenge, it’s disruptive and we’d rather it wasn’t happening.”

The costs calculated don’t even take in to the consideration the strain on public services. The BBC says Operation Stack has so far cost Kent Police around £700,000, while the Government has said it will spend up to £7m improving security around the tunnel to deal with migrants attempting to illegally enter the UK.

The government is also deciding whether more ferry capacity can be added to different crossing in the UK, including Hull, Portsmouth and Plymouth. However the FTA said the governments needs to come up with long term solutions: “It is an additional cost for hauliers to drive to other ports. If the truck drives another 40 or 50 miles then that adds to costs.”

360ict provides managed IT services and emergency IT support for SMEs in central London and the south-east, including Bromley and Croydon. For more advice on gaining competitive advantage as a mid-sized company, give us a call on 0208 663 4000 or head to our website.


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