Groupe Eurotunnel, the operator of the undersea rail link between the UK and France, reported truck traffic surged 42 percent in 2010 from the previous year as it won market share from freight ferries.
Just over 1 million trucks traveled on Eurotunnel’s rail shuttles last year as traffic continued to recover from a fire in September 2008 that partially closed the tunnel.
Eurotunnel said it had re-built its truck market share to 38 percent by the end of the year as overall cross-Channel traffic rose 3 percent year-on-year in 2010.
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But the Paris-based company cautioned “the growth in traffic should not hide the fact that there has been an estimated 16 percent contraction in the market compared to 2007.”
Eurotunnel accused shipping lines of pursuing short sighted freight policies to boost traffic. “The ferries appear to be chasing short term volumes, whilst Eurotunnel continues with a long term commercial policy,” it said.
Despite “substantial” competition from freight ferry lines, Eurotunnel said it is winning back trucking customers, with traffic increasing 35 percent in the fourth quarter of the year.
The company’s rail freight operator, Europorte, booked revenue of around $135 million in 2010.
Full year group revenue jumped 26 percent in 2010 to $964 million.
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