Long lines of trucks waiting to enter the Russian Federation have built up on Estonia's eastern border, with some drivers having waited as long as a week to make the crossing, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Monday night.
Data from the GoSwift booking system revealed over 250 heavy vehicles registered to cross the frontier as of Monday morning, most of them physically waiting in line on the ground. While the system put wait times at a little over two days, in reality the wait can be much longer. You could go crazy cooped up here like a dog, and not knowing why."
Border checkpoint staff concede that there is a problem, adding that they were dealing with the consequences of the Ukraine crisis and the closure of borders and airspace, which has had the twin effect of slowing up border crossing times and increasing the sheer number of trucks, replacing other means of transport previously used.
The problem hits those hauliers who opt for waiting in line on arrival rather than pre-booking a spot, the most.
Carriers who preferred a live queue to pre-booking will therefore be hit.
Tõnis Seesmaa, board member of AS Silport Kinnisvara, which operates the nearby Port of Sillamäe, told AK that: "While it used to be the case that if pre-booked slots were filled, since the number of vehicles was smaller, you simply arrived and joined the live wait-line and could often cross the border even quicker than using a pre-booked spot, nowadays, logistics firms should allow for when and how they need to cross then border. Advance reservations should be used, in that case you can cross the border with minor, or virtually no, problems."
Additionally, those traveling by car should consider that there are often down-times when such vehicles are not admitted, a problem which is likely to be exacerbated by the long May holiday in Russia (May day, May 9, or "Victory Day" - ed.).
Editor: Andrew Whyte