• Heavy snowfall in the Paris region halts air and road freight movements

    08 February 2018

    Heavy snowfall on February 6 has impacted road, rail and air services in the Paris area as well as 25 departments in northern and eastern France. French authorities reportedly issued a driving ban for trucks heavier than 7.5 tons and for vehicles carrying dangerous goods from February 6, 16:00 to February 7,  13:00 local time. The ban has been lifted on most highways, except for the A12 highway, to release truck drivers blocked at freight storage facilities until February 7, 17:00 local time. This ban is expected to be reinstated and enforced until at least 12:00 local time on February 8 in anticipation of black ice. The following key arteries in the greater Paris area are affected by the ban: A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, A10, A11, A12, A13, A14, A16 and A86 as well as many national routes. Reportedly national route 118 was closed due to the breakdown of several hundreds of vehicles. At 17:00 local time on February 8, the driving ban was reportedly lifted until at least 05:00 local time. As more snowfall is forecast for tonight, another driving ban may be issued thereafter.

    At Charles de Gaulle Airport, Europe’s second busiest hub for air freight, and at Orly Airport, more than 400 flights were cancelled on February 7, causing air freight capacity shortages and backlogs in freight terminals near the airport. Shipments were likely to be delayed as limited trucking services were available to compensate for the flight cancellations. Air France reportedly cancelled 40 per cent of its medium-distance flights from Charles de Gaulle Airport and 50 per cent of its short-distance flights from Orly Airport. Most of the flights reportedly resumed normal services in the morning of February 8, but further disruption is said to be possible on February 9 due to additional snowfall tonight.

    700 km of traffic jam have been reported on February 7 in the Paris region. In particular, key highways including the A13 from Caen and A10 from Tours in the direction of Paris have been impacted. Most of the international road links to the airports were cancelled or delayed for two days in a row, impacting the collection, processing and delivery of domestic and international shipments throughout France.

    Potential contingency measures include the shipment of goods on trucks lighter than 7.5 tons or the diversion of trucks via the A28 and A29 in the north and the A19 in the southeast of Paris. Nearby airports with feeder services include Brussels Airport and Luxemburg Airport, from where cargo may also be shipped to regional airports including Nantes, Bordeaux, Lille and Basel-Mulhouse-Fribourg.

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