Le Shuttle

Shuttles for cars and coaches

Le Shuttle strengthens its leadership

In 2016, Le Shuttle has transported more than 2.6 million passenger vehicles (cars, motorcycles, vehicles with trailers, caravans, campervans...) and 53,623 coaches, which added to the traffic of previous years amount to almost 53 million vehicles carried on Le Shuttle since May 1994. The traffic carried in 2016 (+2%) represents a remarkable achievement and outperforms the cross-Channel market down by 2% over the year. The Shuttle Passenger car market share increased to 55% in 2016.

As a result of a responsive commercial policy, a constant focus on quality of service, a robust business model and the most environmentally-friendly transport system, demand from Passenger customers continues to increase each year.


The Shuttle has also beaten some historical records in 2016: 317,424 cars transported in July 2016, a 7% increase compared to July 2015.

The continuation of the pricing policy which optimises revenues as a function of volumes and encourages travellers, during peak periods, to plan their departures for the mid-week rather than the weekend, has proven its efficiency: revenue from Le Shuttle is growing faster than the number of cars transported.

The choice for British holidaymakers

Some peaks of traffic were once more recorded during the British holiday period in the summer and at the end of the year. UK customers, representing more than 80% of the traffic, continue to trust the Fixed Link service.

The great majority of these customers continue to prefer the Eurotunnel Shuttles, which are faster, more comfortable, reliable and simpler than crossing by ferry.

Flexiplus: a high-level premium service

The Flexiplus service, which guarantees priority boarding in all circumstances, no matter what time you arrive at check-in, is attracting a growing number of customers. + 5% of vehicles transported in 2016 took advantage of this service with Le Shuttle. Just after the check-in booths in Coquelles, a video screen displays the actual time required to cross the border for Flexiplus customers which has reduced thanks to two new control lanes reserved for these customers. This valuable information is recorded and sent by radio via the RFID chip embedded in the hanger. In 2017, the new Flexiplus lounge in Coquelles, and in 2018 its counterpart in Folkestone will be available 24/7 to all premium customers, including those with high vehicles travelling in the single-deck wagons.

iBoarding on Le Shuttle, for personalised information

The dedicated Customer Experience teams have developed and employ a wide range of tools to provide the most up to date information at every moment of the journey, to understand customer expectations by means of dialogue via different communication channels (phone, email, internet, social media...) and to measure customer satisfaction as accurately as possible.

Since September 2014, crew members have been scanning the bar codes printed on the letter hangers of the boarding pass assigned to each vehicle on board the Shuttle. The data collected through this iBoarding system allows Eurotunnel to provide each customer with personalised information in real time. The accurate knowledge of customer behaviour patterns also helps us to continuously improve our quality of service offered to customers. Is also provides an opportunity for additional contact with the onboard teams, something that our customers value highly.

The Elite information system is the cornerstone of a digital overhaul which collects and tailors useful and consistent information to the needs of each customer in real time, taking their geographical position into account using GPS tracking. Procedures are automated as much as possible, under the watchful eye of spacialist operators, known as Customer Experience Information Leaders (CEIL) who can take over at any time to broadcast targeted informationto all relevant customer categories, or to individual customers as necessary.

Pets prefer travelling by Shuttle

Le Shuttle is recognised as the main international transporter: 71% of pets* entering or leaving the UK travel on Eurotunnel Shuttles. In Coquelles, prior to checking-in their vehicle, Le Shuttle customers travelling with dogs, cats and ferrets are now welcomed in a new building where Eurotunnel carries out animal passport checks.
Since the summer of 2016, two “drive-through” control lanes enable cats and dogs to remain in their cars during checks. This new service contibuted to set up another all-time annual record: in 2016, 301,159 pets travelled on board Le Shutle,a +16% increase compared to 2015.

* Source Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural affairs) - 2014.

Freight in Le Shuttle

Commercial vans are now permitted on board Le Shuttle Passenger, as long as they meet the security requirements. Dedicated scanners installed on both Eurotunnel passenger terminals check that vehicles are not carrying illicit materials. This new service came into operation in November 2016. It provides more flexibility, especially for express couriers and enables us to optimise the overall Eurotunnel Shuttle fleet.

A fast, reliable and easy transport system

Eurotunnel offers the fastest, most reliable and easiest cross-Channel service. With the passenger Shuttles, it takes barely 35 minutes to cross the Straits, without having to get out of your car. The Shuttles travel through the Tunnel at a speed of 140 km/h (nearly 90mph) and are capable of transporting 120 cars and 12 coaches each.
There are two types of wagons carrying vehicles on a Passenger Shuttles: one carries cars and motorcycles on two decks. The vehicles are loaded and unloaded by means of special 28m long wagons. The other type of wagons is for vehicles over 1.85m high (coaches, campervans, caravans,...).

Mobile telephony in the two tunnels

Since May 2014, the main British mobile telephone operators are connected to the GSM-P infrastructure installed for Eurotunnel by Alcatel. This allows passengers to make phone calls, surf the web and send messages from below the Channel, in the North Tunnel, in the same way they have been doing since 2012 in the South Tunnel, via three French operators.
The real-time SMS based passenger information system in the event of an operational incident is therefore available in both tunnels and on both terminals and their approach roads, thanks to the free WiFi reception zones which have been further extended in 2014. And since December 2014, the 4G is available to our customers in both tunnels, 100 metres below the sea, thanks to cooperation between Eurotunnel and his telecommunication operator partners.

The renovation of terminals praised by customers

The Victor Hugo passenger terminal (with a surface area of 5,000m2) in Folkestone was refurbished in 2013 and 2014 to the level of the best international airports standards to welcome customers in a friendly environment and ready to receive persons with limited mobility. In 2015, the Charles-Dickens terminal in Coquelles was treated to a major renovation with the opening of an extensive World Duty Free sales outlet and new toilet facilities, as well as a play area for children. A new traveller information centre, the introduction of a giant video screen (similar to the one in Folkestone) and the creation of a quiet room are part of the 2016 improvement programme.


To find out more details on the Passenger Le Shuttle business, please read the 2017 Annual review of the Group.