About 1,500 lorries are stuck in Kent after France shut its UK border for 48 hours on Sunday amid fears of a new coronavirus variant. Charter company Air Charter Service has stated it has received more than 800 enquiries from firms looking to avoid disruption around ports.
Justin Lancaster, group commercial director at Air Charter Service, said that the firm was seeing requests from a range of customers as a result. "Most of those we've seen are from customers who are used to chartering flights, such as automotive firms who need parts. But some requests have come in from firms who would never normally consider paying for these services - such as food, textiles, livestock."
Lancaster adds that the majority of enquiries are for flights importing goods to the UK. Several haulage firms he spoke to suggested that drivers were already reluctant to start on journeys to Europe amid mounting queues at ports.
"I imagine that situation only gotten worse," he says. "If you're not sure if a driver can come back, you're not going to want to take that risk."