On all three runs, Nica, of Basildon, Essex, had arranged cars and a van to transport the migrants at the UK end
The migrants died “excruciatingly painful” deaths, having suffocated in the container en route from Belgium to Purfleet in , a judge said.
Ronan Hughes, 41, and Gheorghe Nica, 43, played “leading roles” in the smuggling conspiracy and were jailed for 20 and 27 years respectively.
Eamonn Harrison, 24, who towed the trailer to the Belgian port of Zeebrugge before their journey to the UK, was sentenced to 18 years.
Maurice Robinson, 26, was given 13 years and four months, having collected the trailer and opened it in an industrial estate to find the migrants dead.
Sentencing, Mr Justice Sweeney said: “I have no doubt that the conspiracy was a sophisticated, long-running and profitable one to smuggle mainly Vietnamese people across the channel.”