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Joint Press Release by PORT AUTONOME DU HAVRE and duisport

Ports decide to step up cargo exchange / Port contact group set up

(PresseBox) (Le Havre, ) The ports of Le Havre and Duisburg concluded today a cooperation agreement mainly intended to promote traffic and to step up cargo exchange between the two ports. At a conference at which the Port of Duisburg presented its operations, Erich Staake, Chief Executive Officer of the duisport Group, and Jean-Marc Lacave, Executive Director of the Port Authority of Le Havre, signed the agreement which calls, for example, for “the exchange of information on new developments in port and cargo handling technology as well as recent trends in worldwide traffic.” “We have already defined plans for the movement of new cargo by combined road/rail transportation from Le Havre via Duisburg to European hinterland destinations,” said Staake.

As in the past 20 years, France was again Germany’s most important trading partner in 2007. “Most cargo is however shipped by trucks. Opportunities to shift cargo to trains are substantial,” explained Staake. With 330 train departures per week and 80 train stations served directly, the Port of Duisburg is a truly European combined transportation hub. Staake: “We have an excellent hinterland network to offer to the Port of Le Havre.”

Le Havre is a port where sustained container traffic growth, the forthcoming deregulation of the French freight train industry, the absence of port congestion and increasing logistic capacities are key developments. Hinterland train, barge and truck traffic growth at a rate of 40 percent is above the overall rate of expansion of France’s largest container port. Some 100,000 containers were shipped by train in 2007. Rail Link Europe and Naviland Cargo already operate a range of shuttle services between Le Havre and European hinterland destinations. Since June 2007, a Rail Link train has for instance operated between Le Havre and Mannheim twice a week.

Container throughput in Le Havre totaled 2.6 million TEU in 2007. The overall rate of growth was in excess of 23 percent. “Le Havre is the fastest growing container port in Europe,” commented Lacave. “Improved combined road-rail transportation facilities make Le Havre a serious alternative to the ARA ports,” added Lacave.

New records were also set by the Port of Duisburg in 2007. Container throughput soared by 14 percent to over 900,000 TEU. Growth was again driven by rail services which accounted for over 530,000 TEU (up by 23 percent). The world’s largest inland port has also developed a direct answer to the sea port congestion challenge by the installation of the first European hinterland shipping line container terminal. The Duisburg Trimodal Terminal (D3T) is a joint venture of CMA CGM, NYK and duisport. “We are successful in interconnecting maritime and continental cargo flows. It is for this reason why we are convinced that cooperation with the Port Authority of Le Havre is highly promising,” noted Staake.

A contact group with an equal number of members from the two organizations was set up to come to agreements on projects to implement the cooperation agreement.

Duisburger Hafen AG owns and operates the Port of Duisburg, the world’s largest inland port, on the confluence of the Ruhr and the Rhine. The duisport Group offers the complete infrastructure needed for port and logistics operations including a full-service investor support package. It also provides a wide range of logistics services which back up the portfolio of Port customers including packing logistics.

Le Havre…
- …is the largest French port for exports and imports
- is the largest French container port with a throughput of 2.64 million TEU in 2007, up by 23.4 percent, the highest European growth rate
- handled 40 percent of all French crude imports (32.9 million tonnes in 2007)
- reported 28 million tonnes of bulk cargo in 2007
- ships half a million new autos each year
- provides a large logistics base with over a million sq.m. of warehousing space in operation and another 600,000 sq.m. under design or under construction