'Drivers won't be back for Christmas': Norfolk cargo trapped in Dover chaos

A lorry passes a Dover sign as it makes it's way into the lorry park at Manston Airport, Kent, after

Norfolk cargo has been trapped at Dover. - Credit: PA

Hauliers and cargo travelling from East Anglia to Europe has been caught up in the chaos at ports and the channel crossing in the South East of England.

Drivers have been sitting in jammed traffic since disruptions began on Sunday night after the French government imposed restrictions to halt the spread of the coronavirus. 

Haulage and freight companies in Norfolk have been impacted to varying degrees, with some seeing no issues at all and others seeing their drivers trapped. 

However the industry is clear that the issues arising this week are in no way an indication of what might come with Brexit around the corner. 

Andrew Miller is the managing director of Eurobulk, a nationwide haulage firm which regularly transports grain and malting barley out of Norfolk, and said: "It's been total confusion at Dover. We usually have about 40 lorries on the road at this time of year but we've pulled that back to the half a dozen that are currently stuck and are carrying coal to Germany.

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"That being said, this is an entirely different matter to Brexit. There may be some delays because drivers are being asked to present documents they haven't needed for 40 years, however we are well-prepared to mitigate the risk. 

"The plea is to our customers to make sure that they have done the paperwork on the lorries to pass through easily."

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Lee Harvey, the director of Norwich's Orbital Freight at Pinetrees Business Park, said: "You can't look at this situation and put Brexit in the same sentence. 

"There might be some delays around Brexit because of paperwork but everyone should have that in order - I don't think it will be nearly as bad as some people are saying. 

"We have got some cargo on lorries currently stuck at Dover. We don't own vehicles or employ drivers, it's just freight we manage for our customers.

"I feel sad for the drivers because many of them will have planned to be back for Christmas and now won't be. It's not like they get to France and that's the job done - they still have to get the product to wherever in Europe it's intended. 

"I just hope it gets resolved as soon as possible."

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