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In order to provide transparency for markets during the COVID-19 pandemic, Getlink has brought forward the publication of its Shuttle traffic figures, which were initially planned for publication on 14 April 2020.
During March 2020, Le Shuttle Freight carried 124,804 trucks, a decrease of 18 per cent compared to March 2019, which saw 152,943 trucks carried. The second half of the month saw comparatively less volume than the first, displaying a clear impact from the COVID-19 outbreak, particularly in the industrial and automobile sectors. Traffic in the food, pharmaceuticals and e-commerce sectors remained resilient and shows, once again, that the Eurotunnel remains a vital transport link between France and the UK.
In March 2020, Le Shuttle carried a total of 94,713 passenger vehicles. This represents a 46 per cent decline when compared to 2019, which saw 174,767 passenger vehicles carried. The figure should be seen in the context of the restrictions on travel imposed by the UK and French governments – an estimated 65,000 crossings have been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
However, overall numbers for January to March 2020 have experienced only a minor decrease, when compared to the same period in 2019. Le Shuttle Freight carried 387,248 trucks over the three months, a decline of only 12 per cent when compared to 2019. Le Shuttle carried a total of 420,172 passenger vehicles from January to March 2020, a 14 per cent decrease on 2019.
In the context of the coronavirus lockdown measures introduced by the French and UK governments on 17 and 23 March 2020 respectively, which prohibited all non-essential travel, Eurotunnel is ensuring that the vital supply chain for essential goods and freight continues between France and the UK via its Passenger and Truck Shuttles.
Government-recommended hand sanitation and social distancing measures have been applied strictly for both staff and customers still utilising the service. As a result of these measures, the load factors on the Truck Shuttles have been reduced in order to limit the number of drivers on board, with van drivers being encouraged to use the Passenger Shuttles and remain in their vehicles during the crossing.
This article first appeared on www.globalrailwayreview.com
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