Europe: Flower cargo affected by Calais strike

The strike actions in Calais, France have had a large impact on the British economy. It caused large lorry queues on both sides of the channel, in Dover and Calais, and has cost Britain's economy £1 billion, the Express reports. As many flowers are transported from the Netherlands to UK, this sector is affected too. However, till now, the transport companies are able to limit the damage by changing their schedules and routes. Therefore, British flower wholesalers are still able to supply their flowers.

Difficulties in transport
"Our transport company is working hard to deliver our products on time. The flowers are leaving 3 to 4 hours earlier from Aalsmeer, the Netherlands, and they are using different ways to get the flowers to us. They ship the flowers via the Ferry from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom instead of the train or ferry from Calais in France," says Nick Scruton of Scruton Flowers, a British flower wholesaler.

This causes a lot of stress for the transport companies. A transporter told FloralDaily that "the ferries from the Netherlands to the UK are overloaded and therefore, it is difficult to get tickets for the Dutch Ferry."

Not much of a problem for flower wholesalers
"The majority of our flowers come form the Netherlands, about 65%, and fortunately, we are not affected that badly. Since the start of the strikes, we only missed one or two items per delivery", says Scruton. Also other British wholesalers who import flowers from the Netherlands told FloralDaily that they are not experiencing many problems. "Sometimes our deliveries are a bit delayed," said many wholesalers.

Strike
A fortnight of madness recently erupted on the Channel Tunnel, which included the complete closure of Calais, following the strike of MyFerryLink employees over the threat of redundancy, the Express reports. As a series of travel disruption and cancellations quickly unravelled, around 150 migrants tried to take advantage of the situation by attempting to storm the Channel Tunnel in a desperate bid to reach Britain (the Express). The strike chaos has cost Britain's economy £1 billion. Click here to read more about the strike. The strike chaos is causing many problems for importers of all kind of products, click here to read more about the experiences of some fruit and vegetable importers on freshplaza.com.

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