Friday Jan 12th 2018

Haropa’s 2017: A record year, confirming growth momentum

With a 6% rise in overall seaborne trade and over 15% in container traffic, HAROPA recorded the best figures among North-European ports for the year 2017. For the first time in its history, HAROPA handled 3 Million TEU over the year on import and export, proof of its customers’ confidence.

This result is the fruit of the overall development of the logistics sector of HAROPA which combines first-class shipping, a high-performance cargo transit, fully developing connected logistics zones and diversified and multimodal inland transport services.

Since April 2017, HAROPA has accommodated the three alliances, 2M, Ocean Alliance, and THE Alliance, grouping together all shipping lines on transatlantic and Asia-Europe trades. In addition, THE Alliance has a new Asia-Europe service commencing April 2018, placing HAROPA as the first port of call on import, which means that further increase in traffic is expected. The strengthening of the multimodal terminal in Le Havre in 2017, with 145,000 TEUs handles, supports the development of new rail and river services.

The hinterland container traffic exceeded 2 million TEU for the first time, growing by 7%. Transshipment rose by 39%, also reaching a record.

With these good results, HAROPA strengthens its importance within North-European ports: over the last 7 years, its weight increased from 5.86% in 2011 to around 7% in 2017 according to our estimates, that is a 1.1 point rise.

Other HAROPA trades strongly rose in competitive sectors.

The Ro-Ro traffic (300,000 vehicles) on import and export rose by 18%.

The liquid bulk trades (+ 5%) also increased owing to the Norman refineries which ran at full capacity, thus resulting in a decrease in importation of refined products.

Seaborne and river trades of building materials are also on a strong rise (respectively +19% and +14%) proving the momentum of the Building and Public works trade, the construction of the Greater Paris and the potential of river transport for this market. More globally, dry bulk traffic is recovering with the new grain season.

Cruise trade and tourism is also booming. Sea cruise has also reached an all-time high. The threshold of 400,000 passengers in total was largely passed in Le Havre, Honfleur and Rouen which accommodated around 200 cruise vessels. The river cruise sector in its various components is also on a clear rise (7.5 million “cruise sail” passengers in Paris, around 80,000 passengers for cruise with accommodation downstream the river Seine).


Bolstered by these good overall results and the strategic ambition confirmed by the Government, HAROPA will carry on its action in 2018 according to the customers’ expectations:

  • Developing rail and river services: in the favourable environment related to the State confirming the subsidy granted to combined transport, HAROPA will help to create new rail and river services in 2018 and, especially, to create a rail shuttle to Switzerland and a new inland river service from Le Havre to Bonneuil-sur-Marne, upstream Paris.
  • Strengthening the trade assistance to customers: let’s mention the move initiated to turn the page of the poor grain season in 2016/2017 related to the disappointing 2016 crop. HAROPA – Port of Rouen thus sets up a tariff scheme to support the trade in coherence with the completion of the work of deepening of its channel which will make it possible to increase the ships’ size and volume of shipment. The rates will thus decrease by about 25% for large vessels.
  • Innovating: HAROPA carries on with its ambition as a more and more environment-friendly “green port”, and as a “smart port” at the leading edge of digital technology to facilitate data exchanges and get free flows of cargo transit. The initiatives are numerous, often collaborative and involve port authorities and stakeholders. As regards the “Green Port”, they especially concern the use of gas and electricity instead of oil products for vessels and trucks. As regards the “Smart Port”, the action was organised in 2017 via a Scientific Interest Group (GIS in French), Trafis, which groups together the Customs, SOGET, the University of Le Havre and HAROPA for the implementation of a programme of applied research.

After an exceptional year 2017 and six years’ experience, HAROPA, the leading French port system, will be the subject of changes in 2018 according to the strengthened integration trends expressed by the French Prime Minister. The figures and ambition prove that HAROPA has gathered all the conditions to carry on growing at the service of its customers in 2018.

Source: HAROPA Ports (LF)