When Eurotunnel was opened 18 years ago, it was thought that the future of freight shipping was uncertain, and that freight forwarders would use the tunnel for freight traffic between the UK, France and Europe. But Eurotunnel’s rail shuttles are struggling to lure heavy-truck traffic, and freight train volumes remain below targeted levels.
The company is aiming to win 9 percent of cross-Channel truck and car traffic. The freight shuttles are not suitable for very long and heavy trucks, and dangerous goods have always been excluded from the tunnel.
The service will operate between Calais, also the site of the Channel Tunnel’s French portal,and Dover, about 10 miles from Folkestone, where the subsea link emerges into England.