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Costs stack up

By: Dave Robbins
04 August 2015

Goods vehicles and their drivers caught up in Operation Stack on the M20 in Kent during July were costing the transport and logistics industry £750,000 a day. That’s the opinion of the FTA’s deputy chief executive, James Hookham.
“Given the value of goods and the subsequent cost to business, these figures show that Operation Stack wasn’t just an issue for Kent and the South East,” says Mr Hookham. “It was a serious national strategic problem which left the country’s GDP and exports standing still in horrendous queues.”
To help ease some of the knock-on effects, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced a temporary relaxation of drivers’ hours rules for truck drivers whenever Operation Stack is in place. The relaxation, which lasts for 30 days and took effect on 30th July, applies only to drivers:
  • who have used a cross-channel ferry or the Eurotunnel  to either enter or leave mainland Europe,
  • waiting in Kent for departure to mainland Europe,
  • working out of an operating centre in Kent, whose journey has been disrupted.
Whilst the immigrant crisis in Calais was pinpointed as the main cause of the delays, it was in fact down to a number of factors. They included strikes by dock workers in Calais, disruptive action by farmers blocking routes to southern France, peak summer holiday traffic and increased demand for ferry space caused by the growing UK economy. 
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