The Truck Shuttle business for which time is money, is part of the Eurotunnel Group's 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.
25% of trade in goods between the Uk and continental Europe goes through the Channel Tunnel, which represents a total value of €115Bn per year.
Around 1 million express delivery parcels each day are transported ont the Truck Shuttles through the Channel Tunnel.
26 million roses are shipped through the Tunnel, from Coquelles to Folkestone, for Valetnine's day.
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: 16 Truck Shuttles, including 1 new WBN Shuttle, 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|
Investments to reinforce capacity and quality of service
New Truck Shuttles
The 1st of the three new Truck Shuttles entered service in February 2017 and the two remaining Shuttles will follow by the end of the year, which will allow a 20% increase in capacity of our truck transport offer, in times. With a fleet of 18 Shuttles by then, the number of departures will be increased to 8 per hour at peak times, compared with a maximum of 6 previously, tehreby substantially increasing the quality of service.
Extension of the Terminals: more fluidity, more security, more services
The terminal 2015 plan, completed in Coquelles in 2015 and in Folkestone in early 2016, has enabled and increased fluidity of traffic, a reinforced security on site and new services.
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, the secure paid truck parking area will be progressively brought into service during the year.
In Folkestone, the creation of 5 new 650m long access lanes, the 5 check-in booth plaza solely dedicated to trucks are contributing to make traffic arriving from the M20 even more fluid and to enable to process up to 300 trucks per hour onti site. With the construction of the new check-in control building, the former Freight Information Centre has been refurbished into a lounge where truck drivers now have video screens, free WiFi, showers and toilets. These improvements has enabled the full separation of truck and car flows at the UK site.
Innovation: Biometric Border control
Nearly 75% of drivers who use Truck Shuttles make at least one Tunnel crossing per week. With these very regular and experienced travellers, we are piloting a registered Driver Scheme. in future, it should enable border checks to be done at low speed, without having to come to a complete stop. Operationally biometric data (face shape, iris of the eye) are captured by a specialist service provider and recorded along with the identity documents in a contactless smard card (RFID). Every time a truck arrives att he check-in booth, the driver's face and iris are recorded by a dual camera. the system compares the date with that of the RFID card. The short time between the check-in booth and the border crossing gives the controller the time needed to carry out any further checks deemed necessary before letting the truck through. The pilot project was launched at the end of February 2017 with around one hundred drivers from two hauliers.
A real-time communication with hauliers
Developed in 2016, the Elite informatio nsystem provides truck drivers with relevant information at each stage of their journey, via various channels. before arriving at the check-in booths, large display screens provide their travel time between the motorway exit and arrival at check-in, as well as transit time through the terminal and the number of departures per hour. In the allocation lanes, other display panels indicate on which Truck Shuttle they will be traavelling. The mobile Driver App also enables the drivers to check their departure time and receive text message alerts. As for hauliers, they can monitor the progress of their trucks on the terminals via the Eurtounnel Freight extranet.
Commercial teams have also ramped up its relations with customers by organising numerous visits around its facilities for hauliers and major carriers.
More comfortable crossings for truck drivers
Recently renovated, Club cars, the Truck Shuttle carriages in which drivers travel across the Channel, are now equiped with a free WiFi network and three 22-inch video screens. They provide real-time information on travel (times, weather and traffic conditions upon arrival, etc.), safety instructions (which can be understood by all customers, regardless of their language) and promotional clips about onboard facilities and new services for freight customers.
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 2016 Annual review of Eurotunnel Group.