The continue improvement of the British economy was underlined recently, as Eurotunnel boss hailed the upturn for providing “new impetus” to the growing freight market between the UK and continental Europe.
Chairman and chief executive of Eurotunnel, Jacques Gounon, said, “In the freight market it’s quite clear the economic recovery in Britain is driving huge demand. Imports to the UK are up, mainly from Germany and eastern Europe, and it’s widely spread between fresh goods and industrial spare parts — it appears that all the segments are involved in such growth.”.
The recovery has been good for Eurotunnel’s revenues, as they rose 16% to around £261 million between July and September. This is also partly down to growth in the railway network, including Eurostar. Further to this, the actual volume of freight trains making journeys through the Channel Tunnel jumped 11% to nearly 2000 trains over the first three quarters of the year, partially driven by an increase in the transport of steel.
Gounan went on to predict that business would continue to grow alongside the continued economic growth forecast for the UK. “This summer Eurotunnel established many new records even though the previous year was exceptional because of the London Olympic Games. Before the 2008 crisis, when the UK’s economy grew 1%, our market grew by 1.5%, or 50% more than GDP. So now expectations are for 2% growth in Britain next year, we believe our market could grow by at least 3%.”.
Eurotunnel has already started preparations for the upturn in demand, having invested around €5 million in new infrastructure such as truck parking and terminal buildings. The investment doesn’t stop there though, with further spending planned over the coming 12 months. Gounan said, “We feel the market is there and it’s time to offer improved services to our customers.”.