Memorandum by Imerys Minerals Ltd (CHT
RAIL FREIGHT AND THE CHANNEL TUNNEL
1. Imerys Minerals despatch a weekly 1,000
tonne train of industrial minerals from Cornwall to a Distribution
Centre near Alessandra, Italy. Additional traffic to Italian Customers
who are connected to rail is covered by occasional wagon load
2. The Channel Tunnel is a key element in
the supply chain. The disruption caused by illegal immigrants
has had the following impact:
2.1 Two trains "lost". To maintain
supply, products were despatched by road direct and combined road/sea/road
at extra cost.
2.2 Returning empty wagons destined for
re-load have failed to arrive on schedule resulting in overtime
for delayed loading, and cost for moving wagons from the UK based
fleet into the Continental fleet.
2.3 Increase in inventories due to uncertainties
in the supply chain. This applies to the Italian store and our
rail served UK store.
2.4 Much management time has been taken
to reorganise deliveries, manpower and documentation.
2.5 Total additional cost to date amounts
3. The robustness of the UKContinental
rail service has been severely harmed not only by the issue of
illegal immigrants, but the length of time taken to resolve the
issue and ensure normal services.
3.1 On a scale of one to 10, the confidence
level of the existing international rail service is rated four.
3.2 Domestic services would at present be
rated at eight.
3.3 Confidence in international rail's ability
to maintain service in the future is not good, rating level two.
4. The Italian train allows despatch of
multi-products on a fairly short lead time. For this reason we
will continue to support rail until we are faced with regular
service failures. Should this happen we will switch to a mix of
road direct and combined road/sea/road.
4.1 A decision on servicing one other European
Customer direct from Cornwall, using full train loads has been
deferred until year end, partly due to Channel Tunnel uncertainty.
5. Without the dedication of EWS International
our traffic via the Channel Tunnel would have ceased months ago.
5.1 The Rail Freight Group has spent much
time and effort campaigning on behalf of members and should be
Derek Yeo Esq
International Rail/UK Road Manager
30 May 2002