Container volumes at Haropa fall 14% despite rebound in second half of 2020

Marintime Gateway 02 Feb 2021 Share
Haropa Ports’ container throughput fell 14% year-on-year in 2020 to 2.4m teu, impacted by the difficult economic situation, despite a rebound in volumes for the second half of the year.

Haropa Ports’ container throughput fell 14% year-on-year in 2020 to 2.4m teu, impacted by the difficult economic situation, despite a rebound in volumes for the second half of the year.

In the final quarter of 2020, container volumes returned to the same level as 2018, a benchmark year for Haropa.

The market for full containers was more buoyant as they rose 9% and helped to generate more value-added for the region.

Haropa ended 2020 with an overall maritime and river traffic of 108m tonnes, down by 6%, thanks to the highly resilient recovery in the second half.

Stéphanie Raison, CEO and foreshadower of the Haropa port complex, said: “Despite the difficult period we are currently experiencing, we are able to demonstrate our resilience in 2020 thanks to the key advantages enjoyed by our three ports.”

Maritime traffic fell by 16.7% to 75m tonnes as a result of the global pandemic and the shutdown of Total’s Gonfreville L’Orcher refinery.

River activity was more resilient with volumes down 3.8% to 33m tonnes as major Paris construction projects stimulated activity in the construction industry.

Antoine Berbain, CEO of Haropa – Paris Ports, said: “We saw a satisfactory level of activity for river-based transport in 2020 despite the public health crisis.

“Such results were made possible by the robustness of the Seine Valley’s economic engine, and especially the dynamism of the construction industry and the continuation of major projects involving waterway transport, such as the excavation work for the Grand Paris Express and the building of the Olympic Village.”

Dry bulk progressed, boosted in particular by grain exports (5.8%) and imports of aggregates (34.25) while liquid bulk was down by 20.9% due to a cut in crude oil imports.

Roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) activity dropped by 15.5%, however it returned to its pre-pandemic level in the second half of the year.

At the Port of Rouen, maritime traffic fell by 4.7% to 22.3m tonnes but it achieved a record year for grain exports at 8.8m tonnes and, over 2019-2020, the port exported almost 10m tones of cereals.

Pascal Gabet, CEO of Haropa – Port of Rouen, said: “The Port of Rouen was benefitted by the deepening of the navigation channel, with its repositioning on the international grain market and new destinations such as China.”

Haropa invested €462m (US$550m) at its Seine Axis ports to help prepare for the future, with €162m (US$190m) mainly devoted to large development projects.

Private investment totalled €300m (US$360m), with the construction of the Siemens Gamesa wind turbine plant in Le Havre among the year’s major projects.

The Seine Axis ports are set to merge on June 1, 2021, which will mark the beginning of a new, ambitious goal for the ports.

At a meeting held on January 22 at Le Havre, the French Prime Minister stated that as a single unified entity Haropa would benefit from a €1.45bn (US$1.7bn) investment plan for the period of 2-2020-2027.

Haropa has also been allocated €71m (US$85m) under France’s Economic Stimulus Plan which will help make it possible to speed up numerous projects, particularly in the area of energy transition.

Baptiste Maurand, CEO of Haropa – Port of Le Havre, said: “In spite of the context of the global crisis, we have succeeded in strengthening the confidence felt by our customers.

“2020 was also a year of far-reaching projects, among them the extension of Port 2000, the launch of construction of the Siemens Gamsea plant and the gravity-based foundations conducted by Éoliennes Offshore des Hautes Falaises  (EOHF) for the Fécamp offshore windfarm.”

Marintime Gateway 02 Feb 2021