Ro-ro on the rise in Le Havre
Car imports and exports are growing in the port of Le Havre, and in their wake ro-ro traffic – despite a number of global and European challenges. In a recent webinar the port of Le Havre, a member of Haropa Ports, presented the current trends in business and the gateway’s way of coping with growing traffic, capacity constraints and new quality demands.
Haropa Ports CEO Stéphane Raison pointed out that Le Havre remains France’s No. 1 automotive port for ro-ro volumes, due to its geographical location, its service portfolio and its many established business contacts. Business prospects remain strong, despite global challenges, such as US car manufacturers concentrating further on their home market, the worldwide electrification of vehicles, a trend towards shared cars, etc.
“We need more space for storage and handling,” said Laurent Foloppe, the port operator’s sales and marketing director, “as we handled 292,000 cars in 2020 (the usual rate is 350,000 vehicles a year) and carried out more finalisation and customisation work on vehicles in the port.” An ambitious programme has therefore been launched to refurbish, develop and extend the current 104 ha ro-ro terminal over the coming years.
The space for almost 60,000 vehicles will be extended in two phases to 2024 and beyond 2025, amongst other projects, with each phase accounting for an additional 20 ha of space and about 10,000 vehicles in the south and east of the terminal. The final goal of storage space for 80,000 vehicles will be preceded by an extensive modernisation programme of the ro-ro centre from 2021 to 2023. (cd)