Eurotunnel and the PAD manage major infrastructures on the French north coast only 30 miles apart; in 2006 these facilities transported a combined 74m tonnes of goods. The combination of land-based transport and sea ports means that there are many areas of common interest to explore.
Following its financial restructuring, Eurotunnel is concentrating on the relaunch of rail freight as a major axis of development. The PAD has substantial rail infrastructure and is one of the leading ports in France for forwarding seaborne goods by rail.
The agreement will focus on three specific areas of cooperation: the transport of containers unloaded at the dedicated terminal in the port of Dunkirk and subsequently forwarded to the UK by rail freight via the Channel Tunnel; the operation of rail links between Dunkirk, the coast and the multimodal platform at Dourges (Pas-de-Calais); and the pooling of technical knowledge, particularly in the fields of safety and railway operations.
Jean-Claude Terrier, managing director of PAD, said “The contacts we have established over several years demonstrate how we complement each other in a number of areas. This agreement will enable us to put them into action.”