"The knock-on effects of today's strike by French fishermen for hauliers will be considerable – on both sides of the Channel," said RHA chief executive Richard Burnett.
"We had no pre-warning of today's action, so as a result we were unable to warn our members of what was happening. By the time it hit the newswires, truckers were already on their way to the port.
"Our concern is that the ensuing backlog will have turned them into sitting ducks for migrant activity. These people, desperate to reach the UK by whatever means possible, must have thought that all their Christmases had come at once. We fear greatly for the safety of drivers as lives and livelihoods are put under threat.
"We strongly urge any driver caught up in this action to stay safe: keep the doors locked and do not leave the cab."
The financial implications for hauliers trying to cross the Channel from the UK will also be considerable as the Dover TAP* remains in place until the fishermen disperse and normal port traffic on both sides is restored.
*The Dover Traffic Assessment Project (TAP) was introduced to hold port-bound lorries outside the town on the A20 to prevent queuing in central Dover during busy periods.