Eurotunnel Freight Crossings from France
If you’ve made it to France via Eurotunnel, you probably know what to expect on the way back. But if you’re in need of directions or advice, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve made the freight journey many times and can help make your trip as smooth as it can be.
Calais Eurotunnel Terminal
Latitude: 50° 56’ 21” N (50.93906)
Longitude: 1° 48’ 52” E (1.81446)
Finding the Terminal
The French Eurotunnel le Shuttle terminal is in Coquelles, just outside Calais. It’s well signposted in northern France, and is accessible from the A16 junction 42, or the A26.
Be sure to follow the signs that say ‘Tunnel sous la Manche Fret’. This means ‘Channel Tunnel Freight’ and will take you to the correct check-in area.
As with the UK terminal, freight passengers in vans or small lorries should use the check-in areas on the far left. Larger lorries should use ones designed for their height.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) is used to find you on the system, so please ensure you give the correct number when you book. Once your information has been pulled up, you’ll be asked some questions:
- Are you carrying hazardous goods?
- How many people are in your vehicle?
Please note that the transport of hazardous materials should be pre-arranged. If you haven’t done this, it will cause delays. Call Eurotunnel on 0044 1303 282102 to check you’re safe to travel.
Live animals and children under the age of 12 aren’t allowed on Eurotunnel Freight.
If there is any kind of problem with your booking, phone us on +44 (0)044 1304 218308. Our staff are on hand 24 hours a day.
Once you’ve answered the questions and validated your ticket, the barrier will open and you’ll be free to drive on. Keep right to go to the Drivers’ Information Centre, where you can buy refreshments and take a break, or keep left to go straight to the trains.
Security checks at Eurotunnel come in a number of stages before you board the train. This means you can leave straight away when you reach the UK.
You may be stopped by the French border guard or police, who will examine your passport.
Then come security checks, which may include:
- Manual checks
- A CO2 check on the trailer
- Passive Millimetric Medium Wave (PMMW) scanning, which is used to detect people
- Euroscan – an imaging system used to check for arms and explosives
Finally, UK passport control will check your documents and possibly the contents of your vehicle. From this point you are deemed legally in the UK.
Once you’re through security, you are free to go to the boarding area, where you’ll be assigned a lane. These are numeric – not alphabetical as they are in the UK. Check the screens for information on when the next train will be departing.
Crossing the Channel
Boarding the train and the journey itself is virtually identical to the trip from the UK to France. Simply board as instructed – you’ll be told where to stop and when you can get out.
Remember to lock up and turn off any electrical equipment you have. This includes refrigeration units.
Once your vehicle is secured, a shuttle bus will take you to the club car. Here you can get a drink from a vending machine, although be aware that the machine doesn’t take pounds so make sure you have your Euros handy.
You should also have a mobile signal during the crossing, so you can make calls if necessary.
Back in the UK, the bus will take you back to your vehicle. Again, you will be told when to restart your engine and move away.
Once you’re off the train, simply follow the signs to the motorway. We’ve done the journey – from motorway to motorway – in about an hour. The average is 90 minutes.
If you have any problems on the journey, or you’d simply like to book freight tickets, call us on 0044 1304 218308.