The massive traffic congestion of trucks wanting to go by boat from the English port of Dover to mainland Europe has gotten smaller since yesterday. That BBC reports. Carriers warn that the quality of fresh produce is dropping due to the long wait.
The British Meat Processing Association (BMPA) said a number of trucks had been idle for a day or two. “When such delays occur, the shelf life and value of the product decrease,” BMPA CEO Nick Allen said.
“If the products are delivered later or less fresh, we will lose customers in the EU,” Allen believes. Then they look for suppliers in other countries who deliver on time.
‘Priority is not realistic’
British carriers want a system where trucks with perishable products have priority on a queue at busy times. But according to the Minister of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, it is difficult to set up such a system in such a short time for many trucks.
“You have to think of something to register the trucks, collect them in one area, and then bypass other traffic to get to the ferry,” he told the BBC. According to him, the focus should now be on eliminating accumulation in order to get everything moving again.
combination of factors
Minister Eustis talks about a temporary problem caused in part by increased traffic at the start of the Easter period. Cargo traffic to the port has been completely closed since Friday.
The congestion was exacerbated by technical difficulties at British customs and staff problems at shipping company P&O Ferries. This company usually makes a third of the crossings to the European mainland, but has not sailed for several weeks. Other shipping companies can no longer handle the additional order.
Some drivers got stuck for more than 24 hours before crossing. At its peak, there were more than 30 kilometers of traffic jams, with about 2,000 trucks.
From the air it looked like this:
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