DFDS continues operating its Channel ferries during Christmas to support freight drivers

Since France opened its borders for freight drivers with a negative Covid-19 test as at midnight on Tuesday, DFDS has had capacity to ship up to 4,000 trucks across the English Channel on its Dover-Dunkirk and Dover-Calais routes. However, due to the logistical issues that have prevented freight getting to the port, we have unfortunately only been able to transport 144 trucks out of Dover.

We understand that this is very disappointing for drivers who are currently stuck in queues or at the Manston lorry park, and the company has already added extra sailings to its schedule today to help more drivers get home.

Christmas Day is the only day of the year that the port of Dover is closed. However, at noon today we have received a formal request to operate sailings from the UK government and authorities in the European Union to help to resolve these extraordinary set of circumstances. We are in the process of finding volunteers in our staff who are able to work at short notice, so we can offer up to 30 sailings on 25 December in addition to the extra sailings performed on 24 December.

“In this way, DFDS is playing its part to try to clear the backlog of trucks and our number one priority is the welfare and repatriation of everyone who is dependent on its services. We appreciate the generous support of our colleagues who are leaving their own families on Christmas Day to help the drivers come home,” says Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS.

On those extra sailings, DFDS’ six Channel ferries will only carry trucks from Dover to France and bring no cargo back to the UK.

December 24, 2020