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HAROPA’s resilient year and a second-half rebound

HAROPA’s resilient year and a second-half rebound

(Posted on 04/02/21)

In an extremely difficult global economic context, HAROPA ended 2020 with overall maritime and river traffic of 108 million tonnes, a figure down by 6% on 2019, testifying to high resilience and a definite recovery in the second half.

HAROPA, the 5th largest port complex in Northern Europe, is a joint venture between the French ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris.

At 75 million tonnes, maritime traffic fell back by 16.7%, impacted by the combined effects of the global health crisis and the shutdown of Total’s Gonfreville L’Orcher refinery.

Dry bulk progressed, boosted in particular by grain exports (5.8%) and imports of aggregates (34.2%). Liquid bulk registered a fall of 20.9%, marked by a cut in crude oil imports due to lower consumption during the lockdown and the shutdown of the Total refinery in Gonfreville-l’Orcher for technical reasons. Ro-ro activity, which fell back by 15.5%, returned to its pre-crisis level in the second half of the year.

Containerized goods flows, a barometer for the economy generally, suffered and declined by 14% to 2.4m TEU, but entered an upturn in the summer. In the final quarter they returned to the same level as in 2018, itself a benchmark year. The market was more buoyant for full containers,– 9%, generating more value-added for the local region.

River activity evidenced a degree of resilience, declining by 3.8% to 33Mt. The major Paris construction projects stimulated activity in the construction industry (+12% at end November), thus confirming the key role of river transport in Grand Paris construction and preparations for the 2024 Olympics.

“Despite the difficult period we are currently experiencing, we were able to demonstrate our resilience in 2020 thanks to the key advantages enjoyed by our three ports. HAROPA ended the year with maritime traffic and river-based activity standing at 108 million tonnes, a fallback of 6%. The rebound that began this summer was confirmed throughout the second half of the year. At the meeting of the French interministerial maritime committee (CIMer) on 22 January, the Prime Minister reaffirmed his confidence in the future unified entity, HAROPA, specifically by announcing an investment for our development of €1.45bn over the period 2021-2027. This reflects an extremely high level of ambition for the restoration to the Seine Axis ports of a key position for France,” stated Stéphane Raison, CEO, Foreshadower of the major national port complex HAROPA.

“In 2020, maritime traffic through HAROPA - Port of Rouen stood at 22.3Mt, representing a marginal fall of 4.7%. Nevertheless, the year just ended set a record of 8.8Mt tonnes for grain exports.

Over the 2019-2020 campaign as a whole Port of Rouen exported almost 10Mt of cereals, a historic level of performance. The Port of Rouen was benefited by the deepening of the navigation channel, with its repositioning on the international grain market and new destinations such as China”, declared Pascal Gabet, CEO, HAROPA - Port of Rouen.

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