Kent’s roads were quiet on New Years Day as fears of huge truck queues on the county’s commercial arteries did not materialize.
The first ferries entered and left the Port of Dover safely after the UK left the Single Market on Thursday at 11pm.
During this time, around 300 trucks had passed through the Eurotunnel at Folkestone since the end of the Brexit transition period.
Many carriers were to stay away from borders in the early days of 2021, unwilling to be the first to test the new customs controls.
Christmas stocks and excess inventory at retailers caused by the new coronavirus restrictions are also expected to contribute to a lack of demand for merchandise.
The Port of Dover told the PA news agency that “everything is going well”.
The port of La Manche has seen 2,237 goods, 496 cars and 3,620 passengers between 7 am Thursday and 7 am Friday.
Eurotunnel spokesman John Keefe said on Friday that the services are running “very, very well”.
He told PA: “The whole process worked pretty much as expected.
“There is very little change and it doesn’t add time, which is the crux.
“We wanted it to be as smooth and as fast as it used to be, and it is.”
Mr. Keefe was on the scene Thursday evening to witness the passage of the first truck after the tipping.
He said, “It was really quite strange… very quiet, very quiet.
“Everyone was holding their breath as to what was going to happen and it went as planned.”
Four truck drivers were turned away, but all because they failed to produce coronavirus test certificates, rather than falling under the new customs rules.
Currently, heavy truck drivers wishing to travel from England to France must have a negative Covid-19 test result less than 72 hours earlier.
Tudor Price, deputy head of the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, praised the agencies involved in border preparations.
He told PA: “I think any potential bottlenecks or short-term chaos have been avoided.”
But he called on the government to continue negotiating with the EU where issues remain, such as financial services.
“There are still a lot of areas, a lot of industries that haven’t really come to a satisfactory deal yet.”
Natalie Elphicke hailed “a good start to 2021” on New Years Day.
The Tory MP for Dover and Deal said on Twitter: “This morning the sun rose over the English Channel leaving a pink tint, lighting up the container ships traveling along the international shipping lane, ferries are running by car to and from France the roads are quiet and run well. “