UK supermarkets could soon face a shortage of essential products because illegal immigrants trying to force their way onto lorries at the French port of Calais have brought the UK's food supply chain to the brink of collapse.
In a warning issues by the FTA they said more and more freight carriers see passing through Calais too dangerous and are preparing to halt supplying the UK altogether.
Lorry drivers from haulage companies across Europe are so terrified of going through Calais that many are now refusing to run to the UK.
A recent report showed that some lorry drivers who recently went through the French port were in fear for their lives.
The situation is now so serious that shortages in the shops and inflated prices for imported products such as fruits and vegetables is inevitable.
Footage filmed of migrants storming a truck in Calais
International Affairs Manager at the FTA, Donald Armour, has said the situation in Calais has become so critical that the supply chain in the UK is ‘’in danger of collapsing’’.
Nearly 75% of all road haulage coming in and out of the UK goes through Dover and Calais. That’s around 9000 delivery lorries passing between the two ports every day.
Armour said "There is a lot of food products that come through in refrigerated lorries, fruits from Spain, vegetables and lettuces and courgettes.’’
"A lot of goods you're buying in Tesco or Morrison's or Waitrose are imported through Dover to Calais and if any stowaways jump on board the vehicles then there's a risk of contamination of the food.’’
"The big supermarkets of course can't risk any sort of contamination of the food, so it might mean that the oranges you were expecting don't turn up on the supermarket shelves or there aren't so many lettuces for your weekend salad or whatever it is.’’
"Equally if components which have come in from Italy or from Germany are due to be at a car factory for the afternoon and don't arrive because the vehicle has been held up for an examination, then they could have a shift shutdown at that factory.’’
"Even with the mail, people are waiting for contracts to come through and that could delay the purchase of land or a major business contract or anything you can think of.’’
"A number of European companies are also really having problems getting drivers who are prepared to do the UK run, because why should they face all the possible risk and danger involved coming through Calais when they could go to Milan or Bucharest instead?’’
"We haven't got to a critical point yet where they are running short on drivers or vehicles to go to the UK, but there's a definite undercurrent of haulage companies saying 'we're getting our vehicles damaged, the migrants are pulling off the locks, we're not going to do the UK run anymore.’’
Migrants breaking in to lorry in broad daylight
Armour continues by saying that it is not just illegal immigrants coming into the UK who are holding the road haulage industry up.
A number of illegal immigrants already in the UK trying to exit the country without being caught are now becoming an issue, at a time when the UK economy is growing and more lorries than ever are trying to use the already crowded ports.
He said "All the drivers are dead scared of getting fines for having stowaways in their lorries that they know nothing about, so they all decide to get all the checks done before getting onto the ferry.’’
"The problem is that causes tailbacks and the longer they queue up the more chance there is of migrants jumping onto the lorries.’’
"It's a vicious circle really and it's because the UK economy is doing so well."
It is estimated that around 3,000 migrants currently live in illegal camps around Calais, most of them desperate to make the short trip to the UK.