Q1 traffic was severely affected by the scheduled shutdown of the UK Eon power plant, which “suddenly deprived the Port of nearly 3m tonnes a year,” according to the port.
Despite the mixed performances of the other diverse cargoes handled at Dunkirk (petroleum and refined products, ore traffic, coal imports and exports and grain) general cargoes, at 8.9m tonnes (-10%) are gradually making up for the differential at the start of the year, which was artificially maintained in 2012 by difficulties in the cross-Channel service at the nearby Port of Calais with the temporary deployment of four ships to Dunkirk. The situation has now returned to normal with a residual deficit of ro-ro traffic standing at only 11% at the end of July.
The container sector has performed well, with a remarkable 9% rise in full containers since the start of the year and an increase of more than 7% in the number of container carrier calls thanks to the diversification of regular lines, particularly in shortsea transport.
The steady recovery is expected to continue in the second half of 2013.