For the third quarter of 2016, Groupe Eurotunnel reported that truck shuttle traffic increased by 14% year-on-year. Conversely, rail freight tonnage was down 10%, although the number of rail freight trains going through the Channel Tunnel was virtually unchanged.
For the first nine months of the year, the picture was more stark. Truck shuttle traffic was up by 12% year-on-year, though rail freight tonnage and traffic was down 35% and 33% respectively.
Groupe Eurotunnel stated, “Truck Shuttle traffic leapt by 12% in the first nine months of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015 due to continued growth in the UK economy (cross-Channel market up by 5.3% over the nine months), the enhanced security that Eurotunnel provides which reassures truck drivers before they cross the border, and as a result of the high frequency of departures.”
Regarding rail freight volumes, the company stated, “For the first nine months of the year, the number of freight trains passing through the Tunnel was down 33% to 1,327 trains linked to the strong migrant pressure in the second half of 2015 which forced some customers to change route. The number of rail freight trains using the Tunnel was stable in the third quarter with a change in trend at the end of the summer period and increases observable in the months of August (+11%) and September (+30%) compared to the same period last year.”
In its overall outlook, Groupe Eurotunnel was bullish. It believed there had been no sign of slowdown in the UK economy. It also asserted that variations in the value of sterling had had “no significant impact on our business in the past and the movement in exchange rates does not damage growth in profitability.”
Source: Groupe Eurotunnel
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