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Strong cereal exports for HAROPA

Strong cereal exports for HAROPA

(Posted on 02/02/20)

With a total of 90 million tonnes of maritime traffic over the year at the HAROPA ports of Rouen, Le Havre and Paris France, 2019 saw a 5% drop, due to solid and liquid energy bulk because of technical shutdowns on the Seine Valley refining units and the prospect of the end of activity at the Le Havre coal-fired power plant.

On the other hand, cereal exports grew strongly with the second-best performance of the last 20 years, up 9.3% to 8.3 million tonnes.

2019 also saw a sharp increase in river traffic driven mainly by maritime and urban containers, the construction sector engaged in the construction sites of Greater Paris and grain exports. With more than 25 million tonnes handled in Ile-de-France, river port activity had not reached this level since 1992.

With a total of 2.9 million TEUs, container shipping was down 3.5% despite the good performance of hinterland traffic, which remained stable over the year, while December was clearly impacted by the social conflict linked to pension reform.

The bulk and container sectors grew by 13% to reach a figure in the Ile-de-France region of more than 25 million tonnes (the best figure since 1992). This performance was driven by all traffic segments with a very good modal carry-over dynamic in favour of the waterways: shipping containers are up 19% - a record - the urban distribution logistics of the last kilometer by 43% and waste transport by 12.5%.

"With very strong growth, river transport on the Seine is reaching record levels. These very positive results demonstrate HAROPA's ability to catalyse cleaner, more efficient multimodal logistics solutions that find their landing point on our terminals in Ile-de-France. It’s excellent news for the logistical connectivity of Ile-de-France and sustainable development," said Sébastien Hennick, Interim Director General HAROPA - Ports de Paris

A major factor, identified long ago: the decrease in traffic linked to different carbon energies. The decrease recorded in "crude oil and refined products + coal" as a whole accounted for more than 80% of the decline in overall maritime traffic.

In addition to the cyclical stoppages, this decrease in traffic related to carbon energy is set to continue as part of the energy transition (HAROPA’s strategic plan 2020-2025 estimates the decline over the period at 2%), calling on the port complex to boost the sectors driving growth.

An aggravating factor: the social movements that blighted the end of 2019 (the tug strike, movements against pension reform). For the container sector in particular, December 2019 resulted in the cancellation of 52 container ship stops and a loss of traffic of 866 000 tonnes (approximately 50 000 TEUs).

Excluding these reductions due to a particularly unfavourable economic situation (in addition to the social movements at the end of the year), traffic increased by 1%.

Solid bulk (up 3.8% to 14 Mt) is driven by cereal traffic in Rouen (up 9.3% to 8.3 Mt), which shows a record yield and quality; the tonnage of cereals exported through HAROPA ports represents the 2nd best performance of the last 20 years.

These good results are also driven by the record construction traffic in Ports de Paris: up 39% in the cement/clinker sector, linked to work in the Ile-de-France region.

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