Dover handled 2,601,162 lorries in 2017 – up on the previous record by almost 10,000 units. It brings the total increase over the last five years to 33%.
The latest figures underline the need for a post-Brexit trade deal that ensures continued traffic fluidity at this crucial gateway which handles up to 17% of the UK’s entire trade. As Europe’s busiest ferry port, there remains no substitutable capacity elsewhere in the UK to handle Dover’s trade volumes, says Port of Dover.
James Hookham, the Freight Transport Association’s Deputy Chief Executive, said: “The ease with which vehicles and their loads can pass through Dover and the French ports will be a big test of the post-Brexit arrangement. With ro-ro traffic growing at the current rates, getting clarification on how any future Customs procedures at Dover and elsewhere will work is the top priority for European logistics and supply chain managers in 2018.”
Jean-Marc Puissesseau, President-General Manager of Port Boulogne Calais, added his support for fluid trade post-Brexit. He said: “Like the Port of Dover, the Port of Calais is expecting to confirm record freight traffic this year, with 2 million heavy goods vehicles passing through in 2017.

Photo: Port of Dover