Hakan Zengin, 36, was arrested after his vehicle was stopped in Surrey at the junction of the M25 and A3 on Sunday.
Investigators found 17 migrants including Moroccan, Algerian and Pakistani nationals in the trailer, sitting on pallets laid across the lorry’s load.
It is alleged that Turkish national Zengin planned to smuggle them out of the UK and into mainland Europe.
They have also been arrested on suspicion of immigration offences.
Zengin appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday and was remanded in custody to appear at Kingston Crown Court on April 20.