Friday 13 December 2019

Dutch lorry firm stops UK trips due to refugee smuggling attempts

Dutch firm Reining Transport has announced it is stopping deliveries to the UK as it cannot guarantee driver safety if refugees try to board at Calais.

The firm reportedly has around 500 drivers and annual revenues of 55 million euros.

According to the Dagblad van het Noorden, the firm based in Kolham in Groningen, stopped trips via Calais to England on 1st September due to aggression from refugees trying to smuggle themselves across the channel.

Trade organisation TLN has said it is the first Dutch logistics company to ban English transports.

Gerrit Hes, managing director, told the Dagblad van het Noorden that the decision was taken last year, and is worth €5 million to €6 million in sales. ‘Our drivers were often being threatened,’ he reportedly said. ‘Windows were being broken and stones were flying through the windscreens.’

He added, reported the Telegraaf, that refugees had tried to make holes in a truck’s roof in order to get in, and ‘drivers had to do all they could in order not to be waylayed.’

Brexit

Brexit also played a role, he told the Dagblad van het Noorden: ‘Exports to England are always difficult. If there’s another problem in the pipeline, you take this decision faster.’

A Polish van driver was killed in June when refugees blocked the road with tree trunks. Although ‘the jungle’ refugee camp has now closed, refugees have reportedly started to gather in Calais again and some try to stop and board trucks to get to the UK.

Drivers are fined €900 if someone is found smuggled aboard, and Reining Transport also said that such attempts can damage cargo and have led to higher insurance premiums.

 

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