Container flows to the hinterland at the Port of Le Havre reached a record 2,101m teu in 2018 despite an 8.4% year-on-year decrease in container rail traffic to and from Le Havre.
Strikes at the start of 2018 led to the decrease in rail traffic but the performance of the Le Havre Multimodal Terminal improved with a 7% growth to 155,000 teu.
Full containers saw a net increase of 3% and transhipment was stable due to an improvement at the end of the year.
The 2M alliance added Le Havre as a new port of call as part of the AE7 service, which HAROPA claimed “confirmed their confidence” in the port.
HAROPA hit the 3m teu mark for the second year running and maintained its position as fifth in the ranking of North European ports with a market share of 6.5%.
The increase in shipping traffic was accompanied by growth in river-borne traffic of containers to Rouen and the Ile-de France region, materialising the development of mass supply chains in the nearby hinterland.
Hervé Martel, managing director of HAROPA at the Port of Le Havre, said: “Our good results on full container flows and on containers bound for the hinterland represent the true indicator of activity.
“Associated with current and planned logistics investments along the Seine corridor, these results confirmed and increased the weight of the sector in the regional and national economy.”
Several regular rail and river services were introduced by HAROPA in 2018, among which included the Bolloré Logistics river shuttle service linking Le Havre, Rouen, Gennevilliers and Bonneuil-sur-Marne upstream of Paris in March.
In September, a rail service linking Le Havre and French-speaking Switzerland was launched in partnership with the port of Marseille-Fos and Naviland Cargo.
A plan, launched between HAROPA and VNF, to improve the competitiveness of river transport of sea containers on the Seine basin was launched on December 10.
It is designed to have industry members including shippers, shipping lines, handlers and transport operators, work together on the modernisation of the network and of the fleet in form of workshops in 2019.
HAROPA has also made every effort to prepare for a hard Brexit and, according to the national coordinator for Brexit Vincent Pourquery de Boisserin the Port of Le Havre “has the necessary tools” to cope.
Through the “S)One” cargo community system, 99% of containers arriving at Le Havre are inspected in a dematerialised way, in masked time, while only about 1% of containers are physically inspected by the custom authorities with the aim to lessen the impact on port transit times.
Outside of containers, roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) traffic increased by 4% as Le Havre handled 320,252 vehicles, dry bulk grew by 19% as HAROPA handled 7.6m tonnes of grain.
Liquid bulk decreased slightly by 1% due to a decline of roughly 1.2% in consumption in road fuels nationwide, although there was a significant increase of 8.2% in traffic of refined products.
Construction and civil engineering grew 35% to 1.67m tonnes due to the good conditions of the building sector, especially in the Ile-de-France region.