Shuttles for cars and coaches
Le Shuttle strengthens its leadership
In 2016, Le Shuttle has transported more than 2.6 million passenger vehicles (cars, motorcycles, vehicles with trailers, caravans, campervans...) and 53,623 coaches, which added to the traffic of previous years amount to almost 53 million vehicles carried on Le Shuttle since May 1994. The traffic carried in 2016 (+2%) represents a remarkable achievement and outperforms the cross-Channel market down by 2% over the year. The Shuttle Passenger car market share increased to 55% in 2016.
As a result of a responsive commercial policy, a constant focus on quality of service, a robust business model and the most environmentally-friendly transport system, demand from Passenger customers continues to increase each year.
The Shuttle has also beaten some historical records in 2016: 882,358 cars transported in the 3rd quarter; 12,000 passenger vehicles transported on Le Shuttle on 25 March 2016 (Good Friday), in one direction traveling from Folkestone to Coquelles.
The continuation of the pricing policy which optimises revenues as a function of volumes and encourages travellers, during peak periods, to plan their departures for the mid-week rather than the weekend, has proven its efficiency: revenue from Le Shuttle is growing faster than the number of cars transported.
The choice for British holidaymakers
Some peaks of traffic were once more recorded during the British holiday period in the summer and at the end of the year. UK customers, representing more than 80% of the traffic, continue to trust the Fixed Link service.
The great majority of these customers continue to prefer the Eurotunnel Shuttles, which are faster, more comfortable, reliable and simpler than crossing by ferry.
iBoarding on Le Shuttle, for personalised information
The dedicated Customer Experience teams have developed and employ a wide range of tools to provide the most up to date information at every moment of the journey, to understand customer expectations by means of dialogue via different communication channels (phone, email, internet, social media...) and to measure customer satisfaction as accurately as possible.
Since September 2014, crew members have been scanning the bar codes printed on the letter hangers of the boarding pass assigned to each vehicle on board the Shuttle. The data collected through this iBoarding system allows Eurotunnel to provide each customer with personalised information in real time. The accurate knowledge of customer behaviour patterns also helps us to continuously improve our quality of service offered to customers. Is also provides an opportunity for additional contact with the onboard teams, something that our customers value highly.
The Elite information system is the cornerstone of a digital overhaul which collects and tailors useful and consistent information to the needs of each customer in real time, taking their geographical position into account using GPS tracking. Procedures are automated as much as possible, under the watchful eye of spacialist operators, known as Customer Experience Information Leaders (CEIL) who can take over at any time to broadcast targeted informationto all relevant customer categories, or to individual customers as necessary.
Pets prefer travelling by Shuttle
Le Shuttle is recognised as the main international transporter: 71% of pets* entering or leaving the UK in 2014 travelled on Eurotunnel Shuttles.
In Coquelles, prior to checking-in their vehicle, Le Shuttle customers travelling with dogs, cats and ferrets are now welcomed in a new building where Eurotunnel carries out animal passport checks.
Since August 2015, up to ten checkpoints can be open simultaneously, including four driving check-points, meaning travellers no longer need to leave their cars.
In 2015, almost 260,000 pets have travelled on board the Shutles, an other all-time annual record.
* Source Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural affairs).
A fast, reliable and easy transport system
Eurotunnel offers the fastest, most reliable and easiest cross-Channel service. With the passenger Shuttles, it takes barely 35 minutes to cross the Straits, without having to get out of your car. The Shuttles travel through the Tunnel at a speed of 140 km/h (nearly 90mph) and are capable of transporting 120 cars and 12 coaches each.
There are two types of wagons carrying vehicles on a Passenger Shuttles: one carries cars and motorcycles on two decks. The vehicles are loaded and unloaded by means of special 28m long wagons. The other type of wagons is for vehicles over 1.85m high (coaches, campervans, caravans,...).
Mobile telephony in the two tunnels
Since May 2014, the main British mobile telephone operators are connected to the GSM-P infrastructure installed for Eurotunnel by Alcatel. This allows passengers to make phone calls, surf the web and send messages from below the Channel, in the North Tunnel, in the same way they have been doing since 2012 in the South Tunnel, via three French operators.
The real-time SMS based passenger information system in the event of an operational incident is therefore available in both tunnels and on both terminals and their approach roads, thanks to the free WiFi reception zones which have been further extended in 2014. And since December 2014, the 4G is available to our customers in both tunnels, 100 metres below the sea, thanks to cooperation between Eurotunnel and his telecommunication operator partners.
The renovation of terminals and rolling stock continues at a steady pace
Regarding the rolling stock, the 9th Passenger Shuttle became fully operational in 2013. The reliability of the air-conditioning devices in all train sets was enhanced and the toilet facilities completely renovated.
Regarding the buildings, the Victor Hugo passenger terminal (with a surface area of 5,000m2) in Folkestone was refurbished in 2013 and 2014 to the level of the best international airports standards to welcome customers in a friendly environment and ready to receive persons with limited mobility. In 2015, the Charles-Dickens terminal in Coquelles was treated to a major renovation with the opening of an extensive World Duty Free sales outlet and new toilet facilities, as well as a play area for children. A new traveller information centre, the introduction of a giant video screen (similar to the one in Folkestone) and the creation of a quiet room are part of the 2016 improvement programme.
To find out more details on the Passenger Le Shuttle business, please read the 2015 Annual review of the Eurotunnel Group.