Le Shuttle rail freight welcomes 25 millionth truck
Eurotunnel has welcomed the 25 millionth truck to use its Le Shuttle Freight Service since operations began in July 1994. The truck, from a fleet operated by express courier specialist UPS, was carrying packages from Germany, including clothes, shoes and electronics purchased online just a day earlier.
This rapid growth in e-commerce – the market is growing between 20 and 30 per cent each year – has been one of the major drivers behind the success of Le Shuttle Freight, and shows how essential the Channel Tunnel has become in the European transport and logistics infrastructure linking mainland Europe with the UK. Around one million e-commerce packages go through the tunnel every day. The landmark truck passed through the tunnel at approximately 4am on 17th March.
Last month saw Le Shuttle Freight record its second best February ever, with 127,494 trucks carried. This was down six per cent (from 135,016) on the corresponding period for 2016, but up six per cent on 2015. The 2017 fall has been partly attributed to weather conditions, with snow in southern Europe leading to the destruction of fresh fruit and vegetables in parts of Spain and Italy.
A research paper by Ernst & Young, Economic footprint of the Channel Tunnel fixed link, recently estimated that around 30 billion Euros’ worth of goods linked to express and courier services are transported through the tunnel annually, and are responsible for more than 272,000 jobs across Europe.