Case Study

Eurotunnel Freight Launches New App to Improve Communication with Drivers


Eurotunnel Le Shuttle Freight is the most convenient way to transport freight between the UK and continental Europe. It operates 24 hours a day with a rapid Check-in and a smooth transfer from motorway to motorway and it makes them the fastest choice when it comes to freight transportation.  

Eurotunnel Freight has become the vital link in many supply chains because their hourly capacity ensures traffic fluidity and the fastest possible transit time. 


Gaining clarity

Eurotunnel Freight provides a so-called Vans on Passenger service, which allows van drivers to travel in their vehicles on the channel tunnel passenger trains. Drivers can book specific time slots and reserve a space in advance, have access to all Eurotunnel Passenger terminals and avoid peak traffic by using dedicated VP lanes. 

On the freight side of the tunnel, drivers are able to see displays with directions on them, so they know whether to proceed onto the motorway or customs. However, on the passenger side, there are no such displays and directions are provided via SMS. While this works quite well, Eurotunnel felt that the driver’s experience could be improved even more and that the VP service could be better optimised. 

As there is always a risk of human error, Eurotunnel Freight decided that a back-up solution was needed and hired digital agency GRM Digital to assist with a solution that would allow drivers to have a seamless experience using the VP service. 


PWA as a new way to communicate

With the end user of the VP service being a van driver typically using a smartphone, a Progressive Web App, or PWA, seemed to be the most viable option. 

A PWA is easily accessible and loads quickly on mobile devices, allowing the possibility for push notifications, even with limited connectivity. This proved to be a huge benefit for the Eurotunnel Freight service, where time is of the essence and drivers need accurate direction to ensure a flawless crossing. 


Setting foundations for the future

With the progressive web application being a back-up solution initially, the development team at GRM Digital decided to develop it as a Cloudflare serverless application. In other words, the team developed a front-end application with no back end. 

Whilst this gave limited options for modification of content within the App, it enabled a fast development turnaround so that Eurotunnel could test the service without excessive development or investment.  

Once promoted to the primary way of communicating, the PWA will be expanded to include a back end where the Eurotunnel Freight team can modify and add content as and when they choose to. 

To function properly, PWAs need to be built using the latest technologies, meaning they’re designed to meet the contemporary user needs, like consistency and speed. The PWA delivered by the GRM team, built with React, is simple to use, easy to update and can perform well even when issues with connectivity occur. It's also responsive, cost-effective and can be upgraded and adapted for future needs of the ET Freight team. 


A fast and effective app ready for take-off

The outcome of the project is clean and robust application with no errors that will be elevated as the main means of communication with between drivers and Eurotunnel Freight. As the team continue to improve their services for drivers, GRM Digital will be there to support them throughout. 

Reflecting on the project, our Digital Strategist Ida Vejzagic has stated:  

“Working with Eurotunnel Freight for over a decade was an amazing journey. It has been such a pleasure to work with such professionals who take their time to come up with creative, yet effective solutions to the problems that we have encountered. This project was a great experience for both sides to expand our knowledge. Since every app requires maintenance, the GRM team is very happy to continue working on any improvements that need to be done in the coming period.” 

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Eurotunnel Freight

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