The Truck Shuttle business for which time is money, is part of the Eurotunnel’s group core business.
In 2016, Eurotunnel has had a record year with 1,641,638 trucks transported on its Shuttles carrying more than 21 million tonnes of goods, an increase in traffic of +11% compared to 2015, making it by far the world leader in piggyback transport.
The economic upturn in the UK has also stimulated the cross-Channel market for accompanied freight. In a market that has returned to its 2007 pre-economic crisis level, Eurotunnel continues its medium and long-term Premium offer strategy, based on a high-level of service quality and a pricing policy modelled as closely as possible on the value of that service to the customer. In 2016, this strategy has Eurotunnel to deliver 14 consecutive monthly traffic records between November 2015 and December 2016 .
Since the strengthening of security measures in the automn 2015, the Coquelles terminal has not experienced any intrusion causing disruption to traffic. The traffic achieved this year is even more remarkable in the context of the migrant pressure.
World leader in piggyback transport
In a highly competitive environment, the Truck Shuttle service in 2016 has cemented its place as the leader with 39.2% market share for the year, which were achieved without compromising the company's pricing policy. Eurotunnel confirms the competitiveness of its service and its leader position on the Short Straits market.
Almost 25 million trucks have been transported on board the Truck Shuttles since the service started in 1994, i.e. the equivalent of more than 320 million tonnes of goods.
An efficient service
Eurotunnel offers its freight customers unrivalled speed, fluidity, flexibility and reliability for crossing the Channel. The Shuttles dedicated to HGVs can transport up to 32 trucks in semi-enclosed wagons. The drivers do not remain in their vehicles, but travel comfortably in an amenity Club Car. The advantages of the service are:
|Fleet: 15 Truck Shuttles, including 9 Arbel Shuttles and 6 Breda Shuttles|
|Capacity: Each Shuttle hauls up to 32 carrier wagons|
|Speed: As Shuttles travel at the speed of 140 km/hour, trucks cross the Channel in 90 minutes (on average) from motorway to motorway|
|Security: Enhanced security measures each year thanks to an ongoing multi-year plan launched since 2015.|
|Fluidity: A Shuttle leaves every 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the volume of traffic, with no need to book|
|Flexibility: Reducing or increasing the number of wagons for each Shuttle makes it possible to optimise operating costs without compromising on quality of service|
|Profitability: Eurotunnel's customers benefit from a saving of around 25 km journey and fuel costs associated, thanks to the direct access from the terminals to the A16 motorway at Calais and the M20 motorway at Folkestone.|
|Reliability: Whether it is windy out at sea or snowing on the motorways, the Channel Tunnel remains operational 24 hours a day, all year round|
|Respect for the environment: A truck carried by Shuttle emits 20 times less CO2 than if transported by ferry|
Terminal 2015: smoothly coping with the expected growth in Truck traffic
Determined to further improve the customer experience, Eurotunnel is continuing to invest so customers can save as much time as possible when travelling. The Group is investing €70M in total, including €30M in Terminal 2015 (extension of the terminals for trucks) and €40M in the purchase of three new 3rd generation Truck Shuttles to enableup to 8 departures per hour and in each direction during peak traffic periods. These investments allow to expand the truck capacity by an additional 20% while improving quality of service and the commercial competitiveness of the Group, the only cross-Channel operator offering such departure frequency and speed of crossing.
Launched during the summer 2014 on both terminals, the works of Terminal 2015 in Coquelles was completed in 2015 and in Folkestone early 2016.
In Coquelles, five new access lanes, a huge buffer/reservoir area built between the site entrance and check-in and two additional toll lanes are in service since July 2015. A new buffer zone can accomodate up to 150 trucks, thus avoiding queues forming on the motorway outside the protected area when traffic is heavy. In addition, the number of lanes in which truck inspections are performed, specifically to detect any human presence, was increased from 8 to 14. Once completed by the Sanef motorway organisation, the secure paid truck parking area will be progressively brought on-stream in 2016, equipped with a rest space, restaurant services and a service station.
In Folkestone, work which began in autumn 2014 was completed in January 2016. This included the creation of 5 new 650m long access lanes, a 5 check-in booth plaza solely dedicated to trucks and a check-in control building. The completion of this project has enabled the full sepration of truck and car flows at the UK site.
A real-time communication with hauliers
Commercial teams have established a system for real-time communication with hauliers on the traffic’s status, which allow them to get in advance an accurate information on departure time for the next available Shuttle. The Group has also ramped up its commercial approach, organising numerous visits around its facilities for hauliers and major carriers. Eurotunnel strives, on a daily basis, to improve the quality of information given to its customers, including consignors, hauliers, and truck drivers, by means of new tools:
- Twitter @TruckShuttle, launched on 20 October 2015, provides truck drivers with information on departures and traffic conditions.
- During the cross-Channel trip, AMC TV will, in 2016, broadcast all relevant information in the Club Car, such as departure and arrival times, traffic and weather on arrival, along with the number of available spaces in the secure parking facility in Coquelles.
- Driver App, a free application available for download on smartphones, will soon provide drivers with targeted information based on their truck's GPS location: waiting time until check-in, full transit time from check-in to arrival on the motorway at the other side of the Short Straits and the number of departures per hour.
More comfortable crossings for truck drivers
The renovation of the fleet of Club Car wagons in which truck drivers travel across the Channel was completed in 2014. The wagons are cosier, more comfortable and now have added capacity to seat up to 60 people.
New Freight Extranet
The redesign of the Freight Extranet website, available in five languages, was welcomed by users, with a 57% leap in the number of logins in May 2015. The new homepage gained wide approval, as did the improvements to the reservation service, such as the ability to pre-complete travel information and the ability to send an automatic email to the client's haulier with details about load arrival times.
20 times less CO2 than a ferry
Hauliers are also increasingly taking environment concerns into consideration. According to a recent study, crossing with a truck on Eurotunnel Shuttles emits 20 times less CO2 than on board a ferry. Eurotunnel’s Truck Shuttles, powered by electricity, are sheltered from the risks of sharp rises in hydrocarbon prices and increases in taxes penalising polluters, and do not require the major investments which will be necessary in order to adapt to the tightening up of environmental protection standards.
To find out more information on the Truck Shuttle business, please refer tothe 2015 Annual review of Eurotunnel Group.