Two areas saw growth; dry bulks, which recorded a 2% increase, while general cargoes rose by a total of 4% to 16.24m tonnes, primarily made up of a 10% increase in Ro-Ro traffic as a result of continuing strong cross-channel traffic a trend begun in 2011; a total of more than 560,9000 trucks and trailers passed through the facility. However, this was balanced by a five per cent decline in container throughput at 260,000 teu.
Commercial Director, Daniel Deschodt, told CM, “We have seen an increase in export trade, which now accounts for 30% of all teu handled, while in line with other global economies, our import teu traffic stands at 12%”.
Ironically the port saw an increase in the number of container ship calls, with the arrival in June last year of the CMA CGM Europe Pakistan India Consortium (EPIC) weekly service. This joined the LION Asia-Europe service, jointly operated by CMA CGM and MSC.
With the development of trades between South America and West Africa, experience over the past 20 years has made Dunkerque a major hub for temperature-controlled produce, mainly fruit and vegetables. Around 15% of this traffic is transhipment and in September last year, CMA CGM started its new twice-weekly ‘Dunrus Express’ service between Morocco and St Petersburg via Dunkerque.
During the year the port invested €3.5m (US$ 4.6m) on container and logistics projects, in particular the start of studies for enlarging the swing circle, to provide better access to the container terminals, along with studies for new multi-modal terminals; a further €800,000 (US$1m) was invested on Ro-Ro projects.
€2.2m (US$3m) was invested on rail projects, including the electrification of the St Georges link and a study on separating the operational perimeters of French Railways RFF and the port. Investment of €1m was also put in place for the inland water sector.
Turning to its 2013 ‘Road Map’ relating to containers, Ro-Ro and intermodal services, the port intends to regain its market share of container trade, consolidate and strengthen its position on cross-channel traffic and enlarge its hinterland coverage in the Nord-Pas de Calais Region through sustainable development of rail and waterway connections.
“Dunkerque-Port is committed to an ambitious policy of sustainable development for the renewal of its economic and development model,” stressed Cabau Woehrel, adding that she was hopeful of a 10% to 13% increase in throughput this year (2013).